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Cairn risking more than money in Greenland

LONDON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Money isn't the only thing Cairn Energy is risking with its oil development in Greenland, Greenpeace said after the company left the region empty-handed.

Cairn said it plugged and abandoned an exploration well off of Greenland's coast "without encountering hydrocarbon shows."

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Cairn had said its campaign for 2011 targeted Greenland's resource potential of 3.2 million barrels of oil equivalent. The company said it planned to invest around $600 million during the drilling campaign.

Environmental group Greenpeace said the company, during its drilling campaign, pumped hundreds of tons of unnamed hazardous chemicals into the ocean.

"Cairn is risking all of this in its quest to find oil -- and profit -- in the arctic," Greenpeace said.

Cairn sued Greenpeace after the group launched an aggressive campaign against Cairn's operations off of Greenland's coast.

Activists claim the rush to explore potential new oil and natural gas reserves in areas exposed by melting arctic sea ice could create safety and environmental problems. Greenpeace said that one exploratory drilling campaign in Greenland's waters discharges more harmful pollutants than all drilling in Norway and Denmark.

"We were not prepared to sit idly by whilst oil companies rush in to extract more of the oil that is causing the pole to melt in the first place," Greenpeace added.

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