May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Greenpeace activists occupied a Royal Dutch Shell Plc icebreaker in Finland, protesting the company’s plans to drill for oil off Alaska.
Twenty activists boarded the Nordica icebreaker this morning and have locked themselves on to the vessel in a bid to prevent it from traveling to Alaska, where drilling is poised to start, the environmental organization said today in a statement.
Shell and the U.S. Interior Department say they’ve taken steps to ensure drilling in the waters off Alaska will be safe and any spills promptly contained. The oil producer, which has spent about $4 billion on Arctic leases, equipment and research since 2005, said its plans are the best in the industry.
“Oil companies know full well that an oil spill off the Alaskan coast would devastate the environment and prove impossible to clean up,” Greenpeace Campaign Manager Tapio Laakso said in the statement. The icebreaker, owned by the Finnish government, is under contract to The Hague-based Shell, while sister ship Fennica is already in Alaska, Greenpeace said.
Shell confirmed that protesters had boarded the Nordica in Helsinki harbor today and said local police were at the scene.
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