Tensions bubble as Cairn fails again

British oil company Cairn Energy has announced that it has again failed to strike black gold at its sixth controversial well off the coast of Greenland, angering environmentalists and worrying investors. Shares in the Edinburgh-based company dropped by 6.5 percent after it admitted that the drilling station in West Diski had been abandoned “without encountering hydrocarbon shows”.

Greenpeace, which has managed to disrupt the firm’s progress in the Arctic on several occasions this year, claims Cairn has pumped more than 225 tonnes of “red-listed” chemicals into the ocean around Greenland – more than the entire oil explorations in Demark and Norway. The Ospar convention describes such chemicals as giving “reason for suspicion because of several polluting effects on the environment”.

“The only thing they’ve achieved is unnecessarily polluting an important wildlife area with thousands of tonnes of hazardous chemicals,” said Greenpeace energy campaigner Vicky Wyatt in a report by The Guardian. “They’ve flushed away millions that could have gone into profitable clean energy businesses, and no doubt their investors will now be thinking twice about wasting any more money on their dangerous venture,” she added.

In response, Cairn claims that all operations it has undertaken have adhered to the “most stringent” standards, and that all the chemicals used have been approved by Greenland’s government.