climate change

Briefing: Cairn Energy - 'Wildcat drilling' at the ends of the earth

Last edited 31 August 2010 at 7:36am
31 August, 2010

Download a PDF copy of the media briefing here:

Defining stupid on an iceberg

Posted by lisavickers — 30 August 2010 at 5:14pm - Comments

Yesterday we witnessed two tug boats towing a big iceberg near the Stena Forth drilling ship. They do this to move them out of the way of their drilling operation. They call it "ice management". We call it "insanity". Last night we realised we had a chance to project messages onto this iceberg so we asked people on Twitter and Facebook to suggest new slogans for Cairn Energy. Within two hours we had 500 suggestions and picked two to go alongside the Cairn logo on the iceberg. "We just don't care"  suggested by Frank Plonka on Facebook and "Defining Stupid" suggested by Matthew Higginson.

How an Arctic oil rush will help suffocate the planet

Posted by lisavickers — 28 August 2010 at 8:43pm - Comments

Leila, climate campaigner on the Esperanza, writes from the Arctic... 

Blog from the fog

Posted by lisavickers — 27 August 2010 at 11:28pm - Comments

Last night around 1pm, my whole cabin was suddenly flooded with light and it was not the Aurora Borealis this time. It was the coastguard of Greenland, onboard 'Sisak 2'. They have been following us like a shadow, along with 'Sisak 4' and the Danish warship, since our arrival at Cairn Energy's drill sites. This time they had approached closely from port side with their bright spotlight directly pointing at us.

It is still summer in Greenland and when our ice captain came onboard in Nuuk (probably the smallest capital of the world)  there were even some local hardcores swimming  in the bay but today the temperature dropped down to 5 degrees and the humidity is very high. You don't need a PhD in geology to figure out that drilling operations in Arctic conditions are extremely dangerous. One look out of the Esperanza porthole is enough. We are surrounded by a thick fog most of the time and most of the icebergs passing by can only be spotted on the radar.

Drilling for oil and hosing down icebergs

Posted by jamie — 26 August 2010 at 4:41pm - Comments

As images and video come in to the office from the Esperanza, the one thing that has amazed everyone is the lengths to which Cairn Energy will go (indeed, must go) to prevent icebergs colliding with its drilling operations. Iceberg Alley is so named for a reason, and there's some footage here of one method for dealing with them: hosing them away.

There's also a chance to see the Stena Don rig close up as well as the Stena Forth drilling ship, and get a sense of what it's like to be out in the Arctic seas near Greenland.

BP pulls out of Arctic drilling bid - Greenpeace response

Last edited 26 August 2010 at 12:39pm
26 August, 2010

This morning the Guardian newspaper reported that BP has pulled out of bidding for a controversial drilling licence off the West Coast of Greenland in the Arctic.

Speaking from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, which is currently anchored near Cairn Energy's drilling rig off the West coast of Greenland, Greenpeace climate campaigner Jon Burgwald said:

BP are out, but the race is still on.

Posted by jamess — 26 August 2010 at 10:23am - Comments

So it's official: BP are out of the arctic oil race. Word is that our confrontation with Cairn Energy is scaring off the oil giant. In the words of a senior source, "with the Greenpeace ship already harassing Cairn off Greenland - a company which has an exemplary safety record - everyone realised it would be political madness to give the green light to BP".

How many Arctic cowboys does it take to lasso an iceberg?

Posted by jamess — 25 August 2010 at 12:24pm - Comments

Will Rose, independent photographer who regularly works with Greenpeace. He writes from the Esperanza...

We’re in and out of internet range now so I’m not sure when this will go up on the website. As if to mark the occasion thick swirls of fog have cut us off from the recent blue crisp Arctic horizon. 

The crew are subdued but in good spirits albeit a little tired after the rough Atlantic crossing, long working days and the sudden lack of awe inspiring scenery of Greenland’s coastline. Sailing in towards the mountains around Nuuk after being starved of land felt like sailing into a new world, a different planet which for those who hadn’t seen it could only silently gaze in amazement bereft of the ability to speak.

Last edited 1 January 1970 at 1:00am

Cairn energy set to claim Arctic oil find - Greenpeace response

Last edited 23 August 2010 at 11:04pm
23 August, 2010

Reports in the Guardian newspaper tonight suggest that Edinburgh based Cairn Energy is on the verge of announcing the first discovery of oil in Arctic waters off the coast of Greenland. The Greenpeace protest ship Esperanza this morning arrived at the scene of the alleged find to the west of Disko Island in Baffin Bay.

Speaking from the Esperanza, which is currently positioned within sight of the two rigs Cairn is operating in the area where the find was apparently made, Greenpeace campaigner Leila Deen said:

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