The protest involved Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy and its drilling operations at two wells offshore of western Greenland.

This morning (June 6) Cairn resumed its work, which has seen the company drill three of the total nine exploration wells drilled offshore of Greenland, previously five wells were drilled in the 1970s and one in 2000.

For the work Cairn is using the ocean rig Corvocado and the huge Leiv Eiriksson a semi-submersible drilling rig.

Protesters targeted and boarded the Liev Eiriksson at the weekend and demanded to see a copy of its oil spill response plan.

A total of 14 protesters were arrested soon after boarding the ship, but a further four climbed the drills and forced work to be suspended before they too were taken into custody.

Before being arrested Greenpeace oil campaigner Ben Ayliffe, said: “What is Cairn Energy trying to hide?

“We have phoned, written, faxed, emailed and now even paid a visit to the rig to get a plan that should be in the public domain and should be subject to independent verification and public scrutiny.

“The reality is even if it does exist there is no way a BP-style deep water blow out could be cleaned up in this remote and fragile environment.

“There is no way such a plan could provide assurances that the environment and Greenland’s fishing industry would not be decimated and that Cairn’s investors would not lose everything.”

A spokesman for Cairn said drilling had resumed and added an update on the operations ‘will be provided in due course’.

The activists are expected to be taken to the Greenland capital of Nuuk where they can be held for up to 72 hours before going before a judge.

Luke Walsh

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