Simon Thomson, Chief Executive Officer

Our approach

Our aim is to discover, develop and deliver value from our assets and people for the benefit of all our stakeholders.

We are an established and pioneering independent oil and gas exploration company with a more than 20-year track record of delivering transformational value for all our stakeholders.  

We are passionate about enriching people's lives through energy exploration and development. For us, this includes nurturing the talent of our staff, developing safe and healthy work places, protecting the environment and supporting strong, vibrant communities.

Cairn is a dynamic, entrepreneurial company. Our agility and ability to forge strong, open and lasting relationships are essential to our success.

Our mission

We aim to be pioneers within a balanced portfolio. We are partners: we work with governments, joint venture associates, communities and suppliers to deliver value for all our stakeholders.

Our vision is to create an exploration-led and sustainable cash generative oil and gas business offering shareholders exposure to material capital growth potential.

We create, add and realise value within a self funding business, using either balance sheet cash or operating cash flow to fund exploration.

Our exploration programme is focused on seeking to create value within emerging and frontier basins. Since first starting work in Senegal in 2013 we have drilled seven successful wells offshore Senegal; two basin opening, world class discoveries in 2014, four successful appraisal wells in 2016 and one in 2017. We are proud to have opened up a new oil province in Senegal and to have done so with two consecutive exploration well successes within such a large acreage area. Our exploration strategy is underpinned by our strong position in the UK and Norway with interests in two major UK North Sea developments, Catcher and Kraken on target to deliver first oil in 2017.

We have a consistent record of returning capital to shareholders. The Cairn philosophy is about creating, then realising value – and then growing the business once again. 

We are passionate, driven and determined. We embrace change and encourage collaboration and teamwork in all that we do. It is these qualities, along with skill, stamina and our ability to combine technical and commercial expertise, that are essential to the business.

Exploration, development and production

Cairn has a proven track record of creating transformational growth and delivering significant value through exploration and development. Both are important parts of a well-balanced oil and gas portfolio.

Cairn’s success stems from being pioneers and partners. We focus on identifying assets that are capable of providing significant and sustainable growth, capturing as high an equity position as possible in frontier areas, using our strong technical and commercial expertise and working with our partners to take our assets from discovery to development safely.

Cairn’s quick decision making, agility and the ability to form strong and lasting relationships has benefitted not only the business but all stakeholders.

Across the portfolio Cairn seeks to acquire significant acreage positions, at appropriate equity levels, in areas we believe have high technical and commercial potential and where, in the case of initial success, we have the financial capability to leverage our knowledge and create value.

Find out more about our exploration 

Find out more about our development 

Responsible management

For us, responsible management is about the balance between financial growth, the environment and the communities where we operate.

By better managing how we work, we not only reduce any potentially negative impact our operations may have but also generate and sustain value.

Everything we do is guided by the 3Rs: Respect, Relationships and Responsibility. These values inform our day-to-day business activities and are promoted to staff, partners and contractors.

See how we manage responsibly

Our principles, policies and values

We believe that if something's worth doing then it's worth doing right. Our values of building respect, nurturing relationships and acting responsibly are at the core of all that we do and inform how we work.

  • Building Respect – We act with respect for people, their communities, the environment, human rights and the law.
  • Nurturing Relationships – We act honestly, transparently and with integrity to develop strong, lasting relationships with all our stakeholders.
  • Acting Responsibly – We behave fairly, ethically and are accountable for our actions. We believe in, and act on, our responsibility to care for people, society and the environment.

Our business principles are built on these values. They state how we will manage our business in accordance with our policies and set goals for our behaviour.

Find out more about our values

Supporting our people

People are our most important asset and helping them develop their skills and abilities ensures we continue to work towards our goals. 

We encourage them to realise their potential and provide them with a supportive workplace in which diversity and equality are respected and valued.

The health and safety of our people is also vitally important to us. Throughout our global activities we ensure our people have a healthy, safe and secure workplace.

See how we support our people

Protecting the environment

The safety of the environment where we operate is also vitally important to us. Throughout our global activities before operating in any new area, we assess the potential impacts of our activities in order to avoid any impact where possible, and if not possible in order to identify ways to mitigate against these and design our plans accordingly.

We complete Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) which measure the potential environmental impact associated with our operations. EIAs provide the framework to assess, manage and monitor our environmental risks in line with the principles of the international environmental management standard ISO 14001. Across our operations we endeavour to reduce our impact on the environment and mitigate against risks of potential impacts to the environment.

More about our approach to the environment

Contributing to local communities

Wherever we work, we aim to develop long-term partnerships with local communities and work with them where possible to develop sustainable economic, social and environmental initiatives. We encourage local people to contribute to, and benefit from, our projects and believe that by working together we can succeed together. The benefits from our operations can include: energy, infrastructure, employment and trade with local enterprises.

Before operating in any new area, we carry out Social Impact Assessments (SIAs) to identify, manage and mitigate any potential impacts of our activities.

See how we are contributing to local communities

Simon Thomson
Chief Executive

We are passionate about enriching people's lives through energy exploration and development. For us, this includes nurturing the talent of our staff, developing safe and healthy work places, protecting the environment and supporting strong, vibrant communities.