Greenpeace protesters block OGX offices in Brazil
Greenpeace activists dressed as humpback whales covered in oil blocked the doors of a Brazilian petroleum services company Wednesday to protest oil exploration near a marine national park. The whales breed near an archipelago off the coast of Bahia state. Envirnmental groups are pushing oil companies to agree to a 20-year moratorium on petroleum exploration near the islands to allow the whales population time to regenerate.
Two groups of protesters, some dressed as whales and others dressed as the Brazillian billionaire Eike Batista, took part in the demonstration. The Batista look-alikes poured oil on top of the protesters dressed as whales in front of OGX headquarters.
OGX director Paulo Mendonca said that the company is fully compliant with Brazilian marine law. "The company considers the Abrolhos Marine National Park important for biodiversity, and believes it should be preserved," he said in a statement.
Greenpeace began its protest campaign following a federal court's decision last December to allow oil exploration within a 50-km radius of Abrolhos Marine national park. After the decision, the National Petroleum Agency opened bidding for exploration licenses on 16 blocks that had been included in the protected area.
Petrobras, Shell, Perenco and OGX, among others submitted bids. State oil company Petrobras said that it had no plans to explore within the 50-km radius around Abrohos.