* Cairn says no delays to drilling
* Most recent in string of protests
* Campaigners fight opening of new oil province
By Tom Bergin
LONDON, June 17 Greenpeace ignored a court
injunction on Friday and boarded a Cairn Energy drilling
rig offshore Greenland, raising the stakes in a battle over the
development of the area as a major new oil-producing province.
Greenpeace said campaigners including the global head of the
environmental group, Kumi Naidoo, boarded the rig, which is
drilling just outside the Arctic circule, following similar
occupations in recent weeks and last year.
Morten Nielsen, Greenland deputy police chief, said two
activists were arrested and may now be expelled from the
Cairn said operations were not affected.
Little exploration has been conducted in Greenland due
partly to the harsh environment, but high oil prices are
pressing companies to drill in new areas. Explorers believe
Greenland could have billions of barrels of oil under its seas.
But the BP oil spill last year has heightened
concerns about the ability of the oil industry to deal with
leaks in deep water, and accidents in icy waters are seen as
especially challenging to tackle.
Greenpeace has called on Cairn and the Greenland government
to publish the company's oil spill response plan, but Greenland
has refused to do so. Spill response plans are publicly
available in the United States and UK.
Last week Cairn secured an injunction against Greenpeace in
a Dutch court, barring the environmental group from invading
Cairn's facilities, with a possible penalty of 50,000 euros
($71,800) a day if operations were interrupted.
Cairn had sought a penalty of up to 2 million euros.
A spokeswoman said the company would now take "appropriate
steps" in the Dutch courts but declined to say what these were.
Previous occupations have lasted for days, but since Cairn
said there had been no impact on Friday, it seemed unlikely
Greenpeace faces a large fine.
Nielsen said that activists have boarded the rig three times
this year, and the Greenland police have so far indicted 20
persons and have expelled all of them from Greenland and
"This is business as usual," Nielsen said.
(Additional reporting by John Acher in Copenhagen; Editing
by Will Waterman and Sophie Walker)
($1 = 0.696 Euros)