North Sea cash flow to bolster Cairn’s big growth plans

Cairn Energy chief executive Simon Thomson at the Mangala Processing Terminal in India
Cairn Energy chief executive Simon Thomson at the Mangala Processing Terminal in India

Bosses at Cairn Energy said today that cash flow from its North Sea interests would help the firm take advantage of “significant growth opportunities”. 

The Edinburgh-headquartered company has a 20% working interest in the Premier Oil-operated Catcher field and 29.5% of Kraken, operated by EnQuest.

Cairn’s net production from the two fields averaged 17,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) last year — expected to rise to between 19,000 and 22,000 boepd this year.

Group cash at the end of 2018 totalled £51 million.

A number of projects involving near-field tiebacks to Catcher are expected to be sanctioned in 2019, and development options for the Agar discovery are being weighed up.

In the UK and Norway, up to four exploration wells are planned in 2019, including Presto (Cairn 30%), Lynhaug (50%), Godalen (40%) and Chimera (60%).

Cairn chief executive Simon Thomson said: “We enter 2019 with balance sheet strength and cash flow from North Sea production to fund significant growth opportunities.

“The SNE and Nova development projects are progressing on track, evaluation of the recent Agar discovery is ongoing and we look forward to commencing a material exploration drilling programme in 2019 with up to seven wells offshore Mexico, the UK and Norway targeting a total gross volume in excess of one billion barrels.

“We also expect a final international arbitration decision on our India claim in the near term and we remain confident of our position.”

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