Pre-Close Update

21 January, 2014

"Cairn plans nine wells in 2014 exploration programme"

Cairn intends to announce its preliminary results for the year to 31 December 2013 on Tuesday 18 March 2014. In advance of these results, Cairn is providing information on recent operations and guidance in respect of the Group’s trading performance in 2013. This information is unaudited and is subject to further review.  

Simon Thomson, Chief Executive, Cairn Energy PLC said:
"Cairn plans to drill nine wells in its 2014 exploration programme across an attractive mix of frontier and mature basins.  

Over the last 12 months, Cairn has built a long-term sustainable business. The exploration programme will provide investors with exposure to material growth potential alongside mature basin development and pre-development assets, all against a backdrop of continued balance sheet strength.”  


Frontier basin exploration

Atlantic Margin Operated Programme

  • Four wells in total.  The currently operating JM-I exploration well, in the Juby Maritime III block, offshore Morocco, will be followed by two wells offshore Senegal and one well offshore West of Ireland
  • Cairn and its joint venture partners are continuing to mature plans for the Pitu block offshore North West Greenland
  • A 500km2 3D seismic survey is being planned on acreage adjacent to the Spanish Point discovery where an area of ~1,130km2 is the subject of an offer from the Irish Government to convert licence option blocks to an exploration licence (FEL 1/14) (Cairn 38% working interest (WI), Operator)  

Atlantic Margin Non Operated Programme

  • Planning is under way for one exploration well in the Atlantic Margin in 2014 on the Cap Boujdour Contract Area (Cairn 20% WI) with Kosmos Energy (operator and 55% WI) and the Moroccan National Oil Company (ONHYM 25% WI)

Mature basin exploration and development

  • Active North Sea exploration and appraisal programme continues with four non operated wells scheduled in 2014
    • Tulla (UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), TAQA operator, Cairn 50% WI)
    • Aragon (UKCS, MPX operator during exploration phase, Cairn 30% WI and has agreed to acquire a further 2.5% WI from MPX)
    • Atlas (Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) adjacent to the Skarfjell acreage, RWE operator, Cairn 20% WI)
    • West of Kraken (UKCS, EnQuest operator, Cairn 25% WI)
  • Second Skarfjell appraisal well has successfully delineated the field and the partners are now examining possible development concepts for Skarfjell for both oil and gas
    • The operator’s current P90-P10 resource estimate is 66-146 million barrels of oil (mmbbls) / 120-229 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) 
    • The results of this appraisal campaign have also highlighted significant exploration prospectivity to the east of the discovery and as part of the focus on the Skarfjell area, Cairn has reached agreement, subject to partner and regulatory approval, to acquire 20% equity in the Atlas prospect which is planned to be drilled later this year.
  • Kraken Field Development Plan (FDP) received UK DECC approval with first oil expected 2H16/1H17.  Forecasted production is 50,000 barrels oil per day (bopd),12,500bopd net to Cairn
  • Catcher FDP submission expected Q1 2014


  • Group net cash at 31 December 2013 of US$1.25 billion (bn)
  • ~10% residual shareholding in Cairn India Limited (CIL) valued at ~US$1.0bn at 31 December 2013
  • The programme to repurchase up to US$300 million (m) of Ordinary Shares in the Group is ongoing.  To date 9,567,615 shares to the value of ~US$42m have been repurchased, leaving 593,713,975 shares now in issue



David Nisbet Corporate Affairs 0131 475 3000
Patrick Handley Brunswick Group LLP 0207 404 5959
David Litterick Brunswick Group LLP 0207 404 5959


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