One of the world's biggest oil companies has filed a $1.5 million dollar lawsuit against Greenpeace over a recent protest that shut down production at an oilsands plan near Fort McMurray.

The protest at Suncor's oilsands site late last month garnered national attention as more than 20 Greenpeace members eventually chained themselves to bitumen conveyors, held up a banner and forced the company to stop production.

The lawsuit is in response to revenues that Suncor claims it lost when it was required to halt production.

"We have a responsibility to uphold safety, those activists posed not only a safety risk to themselves but also to our employees and contractors on this site," said Sneh Seetal, Suncor spokesperson.

Greenpeace suggests the demonstrations are one of few ways they have to get their message out.

"This type of lawsuit is designed to try and squash any type of effective opposition to these toxic industries," said Mike Huema with Greenpeace.

The protest in question was one of three in a three week span.

Twenty-one people were arrested after the Suncor protest came to an end and were charged with mischief.

And Suncor insists that protests won't help Greenpeace's cause.

"We have extended the invitation to Greenpeace in the past to discuss their concerns around energy development, we continue to extend that offer, however to date, Greenpeace has not taken us up on that invitation," said Seetal.

Hudema said Greenpeace is open to any type of negotiations as long as it leads somewhere.

Greenpeace told CTV News a settlement could be reached soon, but Suncor refused to speculate on a time frame.

With files from Joel Gotlib