Police have taken into custody environmental activists from Greenpeace who illegally boarded the Transocean Ltd.’s Spitsbergen drilling rig on May 27 (OGJ Online, May 27, 2014). The ultradeepwater semisubmersible rig, contracted by Statoil SA, was in route to start drilling in the Hoop area of the Barents Sea. No one was injured, said Statoil.
Statoil plans to drill three wells in the Hoop area this summer on the Apollo, Atlantis, and Mercury prospects. The company received approval from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment to begin drilling. However, it cannot drill into oil-bearing layers until a complaint filed by Greenpeace is heard by the Ministry.