UCF Global Perspectives


Greenpeace Activists Protest Arctic Oil Rig

Brian Marte, Intern, Environment and Global Climate Change

July 28, 2017

On Friday, Greenpeace activists protested the completion of a new Arctic rig owned by Norwegian oil company Statoil (Sputnik). The “Sogna Enabler” oil rig is one of the company’s newest rigs is recently active in the Barents Sea (Reuters). In protest, 29 Greenpeace activists took a ship named the “Artic Sunrise” near the rig and held large banners expressing their opposition the new rig and exploration activity.


A goal of the protest was to bring light to a trial being held in Norway on November 13. Multiple environmental organizations filed a complaint against Norway in 2016 alleging that the state had wrongfully given permission to oil companies to expand into the Arctic (Sputnik). Norway officials claim that lower oil production in the south has forced the country to expand its oil production to the north in the Arctic, while Greenpeace activists argue this expansion contradicts goals of the Paris climate accord (Sputnik).


For years, Norway has struggled between increasing oil production for economic reasons and trying to limit oil expansion for environmental reasons. Oil production accounts for roughly 20% of the country’s total revenue (Reuters). Climate change recently affected Norway’s Arctic seed vault, which was reinforced to avoid flooding from never-before melted permafrost (BBC).





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