Greenpeace activists board drill ship retained by Shell for Arctic Ocean offshore drilling

A Greenpeace spokesman says six activists have boarded a drilling vessel that was crossing the Pacific Ocean on its way to drill on Shell leases in the Arctic Ocean.

Spokesman Travis Nichols says the activists used climbing gear to scale the Polar Pioneer 750 miles northwest of Hawaii. The Polar Pioneer is owned by Transocean Ltd.

It's one of two drill ships that Royal Dutch Shell PLC hopes to use during the open water season in the Chukchi (chuk-CHEE) Sea off Alaska's northwest Coast. Shell hasn't received all required permits for 2015 drilling.

The Polar Pioneer is being transported onboard a heavy-lift vessel, the Blue Marlin.

Shell USA spokeswoman Kelly Op De Weegh confirmed that Greenpeace activists had "begun the process of boarding."

Conservation groups oppose Arctic offshore drilling.