Danish navy ends Greenpeace protest on Arctic rig

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 02, 2011 3:43 AM
Danish navy ends Greenpeace protest on Arctic rig

LONDON (Reuters) - The Danish navy have removed Greenpeace protesters from a drilling rig hired by UK-based Cairn Energy to drill for oil offshore Greenland, ending a four-day occupation.

Greenpeace said in a web posting that it had delayed drilling, which must occur within a narrow window due to harsh weather conditions in the Arctic region, but Cairn denied this.

A Cairn spokesman said there had been "no impact on schedule."

Cairn is leading a charge into offshore Greenland, which explorers believe could hold billions of barrels of oil. Exxon Mobil, Husky Energy and others also plan to drill there.

However, following BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill concerns about the difficulty in tackling offshore spills has increased and environmental campaigners have made Arctic drilling a key battleground.

The Greenpeace activists hung a capsule from side of semi-submersible drilling vessel, the Leiv Eiriksson, owned by Ocean Rig, in which they stayed for the duration of the protest.

(Reporting by Tom Bergin; editing by Jane Merriman)