Actor Lucy Lawless and Greenpeace activists stop a Shell-contracted oil drillship leaving Port Taranaki, New Zealand and heading to the Arctic to start drilling for oil. They deploy banners which read ‘Stop Shell’ and ‘#SaveTheArctic’. Shell is positioning itself to be at the head of an oil-rush into the Arctic, in expectation that climate change will continue to drive up the average Arctic summer ice melt, and so make drilling in the region easier. Oil spills are virtually impossible to clean up in Arctic conditions. Activist Raroni Hammer also appears in the shot. Looks like Mother Nature doesn't particularly like Shell either. The following story appeared in The New York Times. As reported yesterday, Shell began it's drilling of the Arctic but they were stopped. Not by the courts, not by Greenpeace or any other protesters. This time Mother Nature stepped in and you can't take Mother Nature to court! As Lucy and the rest of the Taranaki 7 prepare for their sentencing in New Plymouth Court on Friday, the news that Shell has been stopped (albeit temporarily) is welcome news.

The New York Times says that the under terms of its drilling permit, Shell must cease drilling in the Chukchi Sea by Sept. 24 to allow time to drill a relief well if needed before ice sets in for the winter. Shell has asked for an extension because its projections show a later ice season this year. You can fight the protesters, you can take them to court, charge them with trespassing or worse but you can't stop Mother Nature!

Shell Halts Arctic Drilling Right After It Began
The New York Times 10 September 2012

WASHINGTON — A day after it began drilling its first well in the Arctic Ocean, Shell has been forced to temporarily abandon the work because of sea ice moving into the area.

The delay was the latest setback for Shell, which has invested six years and more than $4 billion to win the right to drill for oil and natural gas in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off the North Slope of Alaska.

The company has been repeatedly stymied by equipment problems, regulatory hurdles, persistent sea ice and legal challenges from Alaska Natives and environmental groups. Shell had hoped to complete as many as four wells in the Arctic this summer. It now expects to begin one or two wells and finish next year.
Early Sunday, Shell’s Noble Discoverer drill ship sank a bit into the Burger Prospect, about 70 miles off the Alaska coast, the start of a 1,400-foot pilot hole that will form the basis for a mile-deep exploration well.

But late Monday, Shell announced it was pulling the floating drill rig’s multiple anchors and moving it off the well because of encroaching sea ice. The company said it had based its decision on satellite images, radar and on-site reconnaissance.

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