UPDATE 2-Oil firm files lawsuit against Arctic protesters

Thu Jun 2, 2011 9:19pm GMT

* 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 (Reuters) - UK-based Cairn Energy (CNE.L: Quote) 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 Greenland.

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 plastic pod.

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: Quote), Husky Energy (HSE.TO: Quote) and others also plan to drill there.   Continued...

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