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Eventful year ahead for explorer

Cairn Energy close to first oil in North Sea

Simon ThomsonCairn Energy is close to producing its first oil in the North Sea and is embarking on its latest exploration in Africa.

Simon Thomson (pictured), chief executive, said this year would be an “eventful period” for the Edinburgh-based company.

The Catcher and Kraken developments in the UK North Sea are on track for their first oil with peak net targeted production of 25,000 barrels.

Cairn has also drilled six wells  in Senegal and has established a “significant and growing resource base”. 

The 2017 drilling programme aims to further define the field for development and target additional exploration upside on the acreage.

“The next 12 months will be an eventful period for Cairn,” said Mr Thomson. “We will shortly embark on further exploration and appraisal drilling in Senegal and we continue to work towards first oil and cashflow from our North Sea assets.”

He  added: “Cairn is fully-funded in respect of all of our capital commitments and we continue to actively assess and pursue new ventures within the context of a balanced portfolio.”

Cairn is currently unable to access the value in its 10% residual shareholding in Cairn India valued at $656m at 31 December.

International arbitration proceedings are progressing in respect of Cairn’s claim under the UK-India Bilateral Treaty.  Cairn is seeking restitution for losses resulting from the attachment of its shares in CIL and what it claims is a failure to treat Cairn and its investments fairly and equitably.

Cairn said it has a high level of confidence in its case under the UK-India Investment Treaty, and in addition to resolution of the retrospective tax dispute, its statement of claim to the arbitration panel is seeking damages equal to the value of Cairn’s residual shareholding in CIL at the time it was attached (approximately $1 billion).

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