MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) – The Saturn drilling platform continued preparing to depart for an Arctic drilling site following an attempt by Greenpeace activists to board it, the platform’s operator Gazprom Neft told RIA Novosti Tuesday.
“Last night, unknown individuals attempted to climb on board the platform Saturn at the moment when it was preparing to leave the Dutch port of Ijmuiden to be loaded onto a heavy-lift [ship]. Less than an hour later, the police and Dutch coastguard removed the unknown people from the platform,” a Gazprom Neft spokesperson said, adding that the deployment of the chartered platform is now on schedule.
An earlier message on Greenpeace’s website said that activists had blocked the drilling platform to prevent it from heading to the Arctic.
"Currently, the platform is moving to stowage to then head to the drilling site," the spokesperson added.
The platform will drill an exploration well in the Dolginskoye field in the Pechora Sea, according to Gazprom Neft. The Saturn platform will not be used for oil extraction and is scheduled to leave the site before ice encroaches on the area in November. In the coming years, it will continue exploring the Dolginskoye field.