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Greenpeace warns on Greenland’s approval of drilling permits

Greenpeace warning on Greenland’s approval of drilling permits

Nuuk, Greenland, 10 May 2011 -- Reacting to the announcement that Greenland’s government has approved Cairn Energy’s application to drill four offshore oil wells this year in the Disko-Nuussuaq and Nuuk areas, Greenpeace International Oil campaigner Ben Ayliffe said:

“By approving these permits, Greenland’s government has allowed Cairn Energy to drill for oil further north, at greater depths and deeper into the harsh winter months than ever before. Despite the great risks that it is taking with this pristine environment, Cairn Energy is refusing to make public its oil spill emergency plan and has given no indication of having taken any extra precautions against the occurrence of an incident like last year BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster”.

He continued:

“The government of Greenland has granted approval of these controversial drilling plans just two days before the Arctic Council Ministers meet in Greenland. The Arctic is undergoing dramatic changes due to climate change, pollution and ocean acidification, but the Arctic Council is doing almost nothing to protect this fragile region. Simply talking won’t save the Arctic - instead we need to see measures taken to defend the region from oil drilling, destructive fishing and increased commercial shipping.”

Greenpeace is investigating options to challenge the Greenland’s procedure for granting a license to Cairn , which did not result in a transparent and environmentally sound decision.

Note: The Greenland Government approved an application by Scottish oil company Cairn Energy Plc to drill up to seven oil exploration wells off West Greenland in 2011, of which Cairn will drill four wells. The drilling season for the area off Disko-Nuussuaq will end on the 1st of October 2011, while the southern region west of Nuuk the drilling season will last until the 1st of December 2011.

ENDS

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