Cairn Energy pleased with portfolio progress

Oil exploration outfit Cairn Energy has said that it is pleased with the progress made this year in re-balancing the portfolio for exploration-led growth.

Oil exploration outfit Cairn Energy has said that it is pleased with the progress made this year in re-balancing the portfolio for exploration-led growth.

The firm has acquired two operated frontier exploration blocks in Morocco, with the first well targeted in the fourth quarter of 2013, subject to approval from the government of Morocco.

In Greenland, interpretation of 3D seismic on the Pitu Baffin Bay block and southern Greenland acreage is "well advanced". The company is targeting exploration drilling in Pitu in 2014, subject to government of Greenland approval.

Cairn has completed the farm-down of a 30.625% interest in the Pitu block to Statoil ASA and said it expects the results of the bids submitted in Cyprus and Trinidad & Tobago licensing rounds by the end of 2012.

The key frontier exploration blocks are targeting more than 4bn barrels of 'yet to find' potential.

Over the next 12 months, Cairn expects to participate in multiple North Sea exploration and appraisal wells. During 2012, six wells have been drilled and three are currently operating.

The Greater Catcher area, in which Cairn has a 30% stake, has delivered new 3D seismic data which is currently being in interpreted. Cairn is presently working very closely with the operator, Premier Oil, and other joint venture partners, ahead of submitting a Field Development Plan (FDP).

The Kraken development, in which Cairn holds a 25% stake, is currently estimated to contain gross resources of 160m barrels, with further appraisal drilling required to better define the field size. A FDP is planned for submission in 2013.

Simon Thomson, Chief Executive of Cairn Energy, said: "Cairn is pleased with the progress made this year in re-balancing the portfolio for exploration-led growth underpinned by sustainable cash flow.

"Cairn's balance sheet strength, entrepreneurial exploration skills and operational capabilities allow it to target high impact wells across transformational frontier and mature basins whilst accessing further growth from the company's development and production assets."

Cash at the period end totalled $1.6bn.

NR

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