Greenpeace North Sea oil protesters fined

Norwegian authorities arrest six activists following offshore drilling rig occupation

Six Greenpeace activists were arrested by Norwegian police this weekend following their occupation of an oil drilling rig near Kristiansund belonging to state-owned oil firm Statoil. The organisation's ship, the MV Greenpeace, was towed to shore by the authorities and some £110,000 (Ecu163,000) worth of equipment confiscated. This was Greenpeace's second direct action this year against the Norwegian offshore oil and gas industry. The group is campaigning to end new investment in fossil fuel production, which it says should go instead to renewable energies as part of the fight against global warming. Statoil disagrees and says that slowing down Norwegian oil and gas production - "the cleanest in the world" - would actually increase carbon dioxide emissions because coal consumption would increase to compensate. Greenpeace has written to the firm asking if its statement means that it accepts that coal use should be phased out in favour less carbon-intensive natural gas.

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