Greenpeace Chief to be Deported After Scaling Greenland Oil Rig

Posted June 21st, 2011 at 2:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Two Greenpeace activists, including the head of the environmental group, are to be deported after climbing an oil rig off the coast of Greenland to demand a halt to deepwater drilling in the Arctic.

Police officials say Greenpeace executive director Kumi Naidoo and another activist were to leave Greenland Tuesday. The two were arrested Friday after scaling the Leiv Eiriksson, which is operated by the Scottish oil company Cairn Energy. The activists were charged with trespassing and violating Greenland's “home-rule order” on safety zones.

A Dutch court last week barred Greenpeace from approaching the 53,000-ton rig, after 20 of its activists were arrested in protest actions earlier this month targeting the Leiv Eiriksson.

Greenpeace says oil drilling threatens the Arctic environment and has called on Cairn Energy to present a plan on how it would cope with a potential oil spill.

Greenland is hoping to take advantage of its oil reserves to develop its economy.

Cairn recently won permission from Greenland to expand its drilling project in the region from three wells to seven. Last month, it announced plans to drill four wells this year at a cost of $600 million.