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Greenpeace activists scale Scottish oil rig off Greenland

Three Greenpeace activists yesterday climbed up an oil rig off Greenland's coast in an attempt to stop a Scottish oil company from starting deepwater drilling in arctic waters, the environmental group said.

Greenpeace said the activists scaled the 53,000-ton rig Leiv Eiriksson, run by Cairn Energy, and are now hanging under it in a pod.

It said the activists arrived at the rig in inflatable speedboats launched from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, which had avoided a Danish warship shadowing them for days. The group has enough food and water to stay for 10 days in the pod, hanging a few metres from the drill-bit that would be used to strike oil, Greenpeace said.

Cairn, which won permission this month to drill up to seven exploratory wells off Greenland's west coast, confirmed that activists were on the rig.

Greenpeace has criticised Cairn for not taking the extra precautions needed to avoid accidents such as the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.