Cairn commences drilling near Greenland

June 3, 2011 at 8:47 AM

NUUK, Greenland, June 3 (UPI) -- Cairn Energy announced Friday it started drilling two wells off the coast of Greenland after suing the environmental group Greenpeace for its incursions.

Greenpeace said in statements this week that it caused Cairn to suspend drilling operation for four days while two activists suspended themselves in a survival pod about 80 feet above the sea for nearly 100 hours. The two were removed from the Cairn rig by Greenland authorities and are in custody in Greenland.

Cairn filed a lawsuit to be heard in an Amsterdam court Monday asking for $2.8 million for every day that Greenpeace caused drilling delays.

"It can hire all the lawyers it likes but they won't shut down our campaign to kick the oil companies out of the Arctic," Greenpeace said on its Web site. "We'll challenge Cairn and its expensively suited lawyers every step of way."

Greenland police in September arrested four Greenpeace activists after severe winds and 18-foot waves led authorities to launch a rescue attempt at a Cairn oil rig in arctic waters. Danish soldiers in May boarded an oil rig off the coast of Greenland to prevent Greenpeace activists from interfering with operations.

Cairn announced Friday that it commenced drilling operations on two wells off the western coast of Greenland.

"An update on the drilling operations will be provided in due course," the company said in a statement.

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