May 22 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Monday, July 16, 2012
Environmental campaigners are believed to have shut down at least one Haringey petrol station in a protest against Arctic drilling.
Greenpeace protestors are understood to have massed at Shell in Park Road, Hornsey, as they try to raise awareness of the Dutch company’s plans to explore the possibility of drilling for oil at two sites off the coast of Alaska for the first time in the coming weeks.
Hornsey’s Shell petrol station is one of more than 100 Shell petrol stations the environmental group intend to close in London. It is also attempting to shut more than a dozen petrol stations in Edinburgh.
The campaign group fears an Arctic oil rush will be sparked, speeding up the push to carve up the region. Russian oil giant Gazprom is also venturing into the Arctic this year.
Greenpeace campaigner Sara Ayech, who is at the Shell petrol station in Battersea, said the company’s plans could lead to catastrophe for the Arctic’s fragile eco-system.
“It’s time to draw a line in the ice and tell Shell to stop. That’s why today we’re going to shut down all of Shell’s petrol stations in the capital cities of London and Edinburgh.
“An oil spill in the Arctic would be catastrophic for wildlife such as walruses and whales, and Shell knows full well that it would be impossible to clean up after such devastation. The Arctic must be saved, and made a global sanctuary where oil drilling is banned.”
A Shell spokesman said it recognises there are groups opposed to the exploration program and wants to “engage in a free and frank exchange of views about our operations” but asked “they do so with their safety and the safety of others, including the general public and Shell personnel in mind.”
The spokesman added: “Shell has met with numerous organizations and individuals who oppose drilling offshore Alaska. We respect their views and value the dialogue. We have extended this same offer for productive dialogue to Greenpeace.”
All today’s activities are being broadcast live from purpose-built studio and can be seen on Greenpeace’s website www.greenpeace.org.uk.