The British oil company Cairn Energy has been granted an injunction by a Dutch court to prevent Greenpeace activists boarding its two deep sea drilling rigs 180km off the coast of Greenland.
A judge ruled that Greenpeace International will be liable to fines of up to €50,000 (£44,000) for every day it goes within 500 metres of the rigs, up to a €1m total.
The judge refused, however, to agree to daily fines of up to €2m (£1.8m) which had been demanded by Cairn Energy.
Ben Stewart, an oil campaigner on board the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, stationed near the drilling rig, said the ruling would not stop them demanding Cairn's oil spill clean-up plan, which they believe would show that the company was not equipped to cope with a potential accident in the pristine Arctic environment. The Arctic has been opened up to the oil and gas industry by the break-up of the ice, caused by warmer conditions.