Greenpeace activists in the hands of the police 

The activists on board the Transocean Spitsbergen are now in the hands of Norwegian police.

The rig was on its way for planned exploration drilling in the Hoop area in the Barents Sea when Greenpeace activists boarded the rig in the early hours of Tuesday 27 May.

Statoil is very pleased that the illegal action on the rig now has ended without anyone being injured.

The rig will now prepare for transit to the drilling site for the Apollo well in the Hoop area. Statoil has a permit to start the drilling operations, but awaits a final decision on a Greenpeace appeal to the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment before drilling into oil-bearing layers.
FACTS - updated 27 May at 16.15

The Hoop area is situated further away from Bjørnøya than the distance between most Norwegian oil fields and land.

The Atlantis prospect is located 173 km off Bjørnøya, and 300 km from the Norwegian mainland.

The Hoop area is situated in the Barents Sea, where the Norwegian oil industry has been drilling wells since the early 1980s. Statoil has participated in more than 100 wells in the Barents Sea.

The probability of an oil spill happening is extremely low, since there are robust plans in place for the operation, and we are operating in familiar waters.

There are two factors that indicate an extremely low probability of oil reaching Bjørnøya. Firstly, there is a very low risk of an oil spill occurring at all, and secondly, there is an extremely low risk of any spillage reaching Bjørnøya. This has been confirmed by the 70,000 trajectory scenario calculations we have carried out.

If an oil spill were to occur, the first oil booms (NOFO system) would be on the water in less than two hours, and more systems would be mobilized rapidly.

Statoil plans to drill three wells in the Hoop area this summer, on the Apollo, Atlantis and Mercury prospects. The wells will be drilled by the rig “Transocean Spitsbergen”, and drilling is scheduled for the period from late May to September.

Ice monitoring map for 26 May produced by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute shows the nearest ice away from the Apollo well location.

The ice is expected to move even further North during the next few days.

Ice monitoring map >