* Cairn seeks fines of 2 mln euros/day as deterrent
* Greenpeace involved in campaign to halt Arctic drilling
* Cairn hopes to open up multibillion barrel oil province
(Updates with Cairn statement)
By Tom Bergin
LONDON, June 2 UK-based Cairn Energy (CNE.L)
has filed a legal action in the Netherlands, seeking fines of
up to 2 million euros a day ($2.9 million) if Greenpeace
protesters again disrupt the explorer's drilling plans offshore
A Cairn spokesman said on Thursday the action was intended
as a deterrent after Greenpeace ended a four-day protest which
involved protesters hanging suspended from a drilling rig in a
It was also intended "to ensure the safety of those
involved in its operations," Cairn said in a statement.
Last year, Greenpeace activists also launched similar
action against a Cairn rig offshore Greenland.
Cairn is leading a charge into offshore Greenland, which
explorers believe could hold billions of barrels of oil. Exxon
Mobil (XOM.N), Husky Energy (HSE.TO) and others also plan to
Earlier on Thursday, the Danish navy removed the Greenpeace
protesters from the semi-submersible drilling vessel, the Leiv
Eiriksson, owned by Ocean Rig OCRG.NFF.
Greenpeace said in a Web posting that it had delayed
drilling, which must occur within a narrow window due to harsh
weather in the Arctic region, but Cairn denied this.
A Cairn spokesman said there had been "no impact on
Cairn said such protests could cost it $4 million a day.
Following BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill, concern about the
difficulty in tackling offshore spills has increased and
environmental campaigners have made Arctic drilling a key
The track record of companies suing protest groups is a
chequered one, with court action often serving to garner
publicity and sympathy for the campaigners.
Cairn's shares closed down 2.8 percent, lagging a 2.0
percent drop in the STOXX Europe 600 Oil and Gas index.
($1 = 0.6900 euro)
(Reporting by Tom Bergin, +44 207 542 1029; Editing by Jane
Merriman, Erica Billingham and Matthew Lewis)