- Statoil, in a statement posted on its website, says it "respects the right for legal protests and believes it is important with a democratic debate on the oil and industry," but called the protest illegal and irresponsible and raised concern for the safety of activists."We are concerned for the safety of the demonstrators who have made their way on board, and for the crew," the statement said."Several activists are now suspended by ropes underneath the rig, above the open sea and above the thrusters that must be kept running at all times to keep the rig in position. The weather is cold in the area, with temperatures around zero degrees Celsius. If the demonstrators were to fall down, their life and health would be at serious risk. Some of the activists are also carrying heavy equipment that could lead to drowning."There is a dialogue going on between the crew onboard the rig and the activists, the company said, though Scheller told Mashable those talks have since broken down."They would like us to go away, and we responded that we would like them to stop Arctic oil drilling," he said of the sticking point between the two parties. With blue skies, calm seas and sunlight 24 hours per day, Scheller says the activists plan on staying as long as the weather holds out.There is a Norwegian Coast Guard ship nearby, Scheller says, “but they are being very passive, they seem to be observing the situation” and have not made contact with the Esperanza.You can follow the action on Twitter at the hashtag #OccupyArcticOil. Greenpeace's petition asking the oil company's biggest shareholder, the Norwegian government, "to stop these reckless plans before it’s too late" had 61,000 signatures at time of writing.
A team of Greenpeace International activists head towards the Statoil contracted oil rig Transocean Spitsbergen to protest the company's plans to drill the northernmost well in the Norwegian Arctic at the Apollo Prospect of the Barents Sea on Monday, May 27 2014.