LONDON (Reuters) – Shell is suing Greenpeace for $2.1 million (1.96 million euros) in damages after activists from the environmental organization boarded the group’s oil production ship at sea this year, according to Greenpeace and a document seen by Reuters.

Greenpeace activists boarded the ship in January, off the coast of the Canary Islands, to protest oil drilling, and traveled on board to Norway.

The British energy giant has filed a complaint with the High Court in London.

In an email to Reuters, Shell confirmed that legal proceedings are underway but declined to comment on the amount sought in compensation.

Boarding a ship at sea is “illegal and extremely dangerous,” a Shell spokesperson said.

“The right to demonstrate is fundamental and we absolutely respect it. But this must be done in complete safety and in compliance with the law,” added the spokesperson.

According to a document seen by Reuters, the damages sought by Shell include costs related to shipping delays, additional security expenses, as well as legal fees.

“This complaint poses one of the greatest legal threats to the Greenpeace network’s ability to campaign in its more than 50 years of existence,” Greenpeace said in a statement.

A claim for additional damages of around $6.5 million filed by Fluor, one of Shell’s contractors, has not been resolved, according to the document seen by Reuters. Fluor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting Shadia Nasralla, Augustin Turpin, editing by Kate Entringer)

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