Seven Greenpeace activists, including actor Lucy Lawless, were removed from the Noble Discoverer drill ship and arrested at Port Taranaki in New Zealand, The New Zealand Herald reports. The drill ship was to leave for the Chukchi Sea off the Alaskan coast to drill exploratory oil wells.
Shell New Zealand Chairman Rob Jager said he was concerned about the safety of rig workers and Greenpeace activists who climbed on the ship's drilling tower.
"We provided Greenpeace with a reasonable opportunity engage in productive conversation and are disappointed they have not responded," he said in a statement. "We will continue to extend the offer."
Greenpeace said more than 133,000 supporters sent letters to Shell to protest its drilling plans for the arctic waters off Alaska's coast.
The U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement approved Shell's 450-page oil-spill response plan for work in the arctic. Greenpeace said many of the responses outlined in the document were untested in arctic waters.
"This chapter has ended but the story of the battle to save the arctic has just begun," Lawless was quoted by the Herald as saying.
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