Offshore oil platform

Cairn Energy, a oil and gas exploration company based in Ireland has reported the first oil discovery in Greenland. Previously the company had discovered natural gas. In the companies statement Chief Executive Bill Gammel says that "The presence of both oil and gas confirms an active, working petroleum system in the basin and is extremely encouraging at this very early stage of our exploration campaign for the Sigguk block and the entire area".

The two types of oil which have been found are being chemically analysed. The oil was retrieved at depths of between 300m and 500m and a third prospect is at an earlier stage of drilling.

The territory's waters may hold 50 billion barrels of crude and gas, according to the U.S Geological Survey. Additionally to Cairn Energy, Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp also own rights in Greenland.

The drilling has met quite a bit of protest from Greenpeace activists, which boarded the Greenland drilling rig last month to protest about deep drilling. Four people were arrested after giving up their occupation of the rig when weather conditions worsened.