Anna Henly - Photographer Edinburgh

Cairn Energy in Greenland

Edinburgh-based oil company Cairn Energy sent me to Greenland during the summer of 2010 to capture images of its thrilling oil exploration programme. Cairn Energy is the first company for a decade to drill for oil offshore in the iceberg-infested waters.

The Ilulissat Icefjord: Ilulissat is Greenlandic for "the icebergs".

Tourists in Ilulissat sail under the midnight sun to the snout of the Ilulissat glacier, a UNESCO world heritage sight.

The Ilulissat glacier has shrunk over 10km in a few years and is considered one of the most alarming examples of global warming.

Greenlanders work in heli-operations at Aasiaat heliport.

Final checks are made to the chopper before we head offshore to see how Cairn Energy's drilling operations are progressing.

Cougar's helicopters taking off from Aasiaat heliport.

Bergs pose a constant danger to shipping and have to be towed out of the way of oil rigs to prevent collisions.

Summer drilling in the Arctic has to wait until the ice has broken up.....

Strata of Disko island from the chopper.

Toolpusher Gary Dibben explains the Forth's advanced technology to Sir Bill Gammell and Dr Mike Watts.

Cairn Energy Chief Executive, Sir Bill Gammell and Dr Mike Watts.

Sir Bill Gammell and Dr Mike Watts onboard the drillship Stena Forth in Greenlandic waters.

I stay in the Seamen's Mission in Aasiaat.

A Greenlandic fisherman mending his nets.

In the summer sunshine it's hard to imagine what life must be like in the brutal winter temperatures with no daylight for days on end.........

At the fish market I meet a woman who is buying seal meat to cook up a feast for her Birthday party this evening.

Whale meat for sale at the early morning fish market in Aasiaat.
Traditional turf house in Aasiaat.

The houses are connected by a web of pipes - pipelines can't be buried as the houses are all built on rock.

Musk oxen live very close to the airport in Kangerlussuaq but you need to join a wildlife guide (on a quick trip between flights) with a 'scope to spot them.

The sled dogs are camouflaged on the rocks but jump up and snarl if you risk stepping on them........
Bog cotton and grasses sway in the breeze of the brief summer in Greenland.

The graveyard in Aasiaat - bodies are not buried below the ground.

I have time for a brief visit to the museum to see how Greenlanders used to live - not so very long ago.

The supply boats have to keep watch for icebergs that frequently drift into their path.

From over the water the colourful town of Aasiaat reminds me of a tube of Smarties.

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