Greenpeace disrupts hunt for Atlantic oil

Jul 29, 1997 02:00 AM

July 18, 1997 Environmental group Greenpeace disrupted attempts by Conoco to survey for crude in British Atlantic waters west of the Shetland islands. The group launched two inflatable dinghies from the vessel MV Greenpeace each towing a rattling oil barrel. These were attached to, and disrupted, the sensitive acoustic equipment towed behind the oil company's ship the Atlantic Explorer. The group also removed navigational equipment from the acoustic equipment but said this would be returned to the Atlantic Explorer.
In early June Greenpeace activists occupied for hours the London headquarters of Conoco, one of the 14 companies awarded the right to explore in the Atlantic in Britain's 17th oil licensing round. Greenpeace applied for all the oil licenses with the intention of turning the 22,000 square miles into a marine wildlife sanctuary. But the bid was rejected by Britain's Department of Trade and Industry.
Greenpeace campaigners then seized the remote Atlantic outcrop of Rockall and proclaimed a new state of "Waveland" in a gesture aimed at protecting the ocean from oil exploration.
At the end of June activists also delayed the start of seismic survey being carried out by Texaco in the same region.

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