Oil and gas explorer Cairn India, majority owned by Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy, said yesterday it had received Indian government approval to develop more discoveries.
Cairn said the government had approved the commercial development of three oil and gas discoveries in the north-west Indian state of Rajasthan.
Cairn’s largest field, Mangala, also in Rajasthan, is set to start production by the second half of 2009 and the firm aims to produce 175,000 barrels a day from fields in the state by 2010. Cairn has also said that oil from its Bhagyam and Aishwariya finds will follow in 2010.
Cairn and joint-venture partner ONGC now have 1,200 square miles of land under long-term contract on their Rajasthan licence, of which the main Mangala field-development plan (FDP) covers more than 717sq miles while the Bhagyam FDP covers 166sq miles.
Cairn India chief executive Rahul Dhir said: “Cairn India is delighted to have secured the declaration of commerciality of this area from the government of India.
“It will enable us to develop the discoveries and access the area for further exploitation of additional resources.”
Cairn has made more than 20 discoveries in Rajasthan.
Energy investor Oranje Nassau, which in the UK holds a minority interest in the giant Buzzard field, is reported to be up for sale.
A report said its owners, the Wendel family, had put the company up for sale with a price tag of more than £500million and had appointed investment bank Jefferies to oversee the sale.
Oranje Nassau’s UK interests include stakes in the Wytch farm oil field operated by BP, Total’s Elgin-Franklin, Shell’s Pierce and Cook and Maersk-operated Janice, in addition to Nexen’s Buzzard.
Partners in the fields in which Oranje Nassau has interests plus Abu Dhabi national energy company TAQA and Japan’s Marubeni are said to be potential buyers.