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Cairn Energy PLC’s legacy in India

Celebrating 10 years since first oil from Rajasthan

Historically Cairn Energy PLC (Cairn) focused on South Asia where it created significant value for stakeholders particularly through its discovery, development and production of first oil in Rajasthan, India. From a barren desert landscape, Cairn discovered more than one billion barrels of oil which continues to generate significant revenues for the country with more than US$20 billion to the Indian Government to date.

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Cairn in Rajasthan

The Rajasthan fields lie in the heart of the Thar desert in the Barmer district in northwest India.

In 1999 Cairn made the first Rajasthan discovery (the Guda field) and in 2004 Cairn discovered the Mangala field. The Mangala field was the largest onshore discovery in India for more than 25 years with the potential to provide more than 30% of India’s daily crude oil production. 

Wherever we operate our aim is to discover, develop and deliver value in our assets and people for the benefit of all our stakeholders.

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Positive impact

In India Cairn aimed to make a positive impact by working with the local communities to improve infrastructure, health, education and trading prospects primarily through a rural development programme.


Training more than 3,000 people in business skills as part of The Enterprise Centre which Cairn Energy helped to fund along with the IFC, the investment arm of the World Bank


Supporting traditional dairy activities through a rural dairy development project which led to more than 900 dairy farmers registering in different co-operatives


Setting up a mobile health van initiative to serve remote communities of Rajasthan which would otherwise have little or no access to healthcare services. The initiative has provided diagnostic and preventative healthcare services to more than 8,500 people


Establishing a rainwater harvesting project which has the capacity to store more than 10m litres of drinking water


Together with its joint venture partners, Cairn invested ~US$6bn in projects that have benefitted the nation and local communities. 

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Watch our videos to discover more

In 2019 we are delighted to mark the 10th anniversary of first oil production from the Mangala oil field with a series of interviews and videos exploring Cairn Energy PLC’s legacy in Rajasthan.

Dhapu Devi, farmer

"I have cattle now and the cattle rearing can be done because I have water." Construction of more than 1,300 rainwater harvesting structures providing storage capacity of more than 10 million litres.

Manvendra Singh, politician

‘It has created new businesses, it has created first generation entrepreneurs…’ Cairn’s legacy for the Barmer district in Rajasthan has been rapid advance

Azad Rathore, entrepreneur

‘Since Cairn’s entry in 2003 the biggest change was that local youth were educated and trained …’

Ruma Devi, fabric workers co-op

‘...because of the oil exploration a lot of outsiders have come to Barmer…so our work has gone global’ Cairn opened an Enterprise Centre to provide training and support local businesses

Lalit Kiri, entrepreneur

‘We started Kiri Logistics when Cairn came to Rajasthan’ ‘Our main aim is to take the knowledge we gained from the oil industry in India to the international platform’

Praveen Sodha, hotelier

‘...as we have the support of oil…now we can easily move into tourism’ Sanchal Fort Hotel is one of more than 30 in the region where once there was one

Simon Thomson, CEO of Cairn Energy PLC

‘Rajasthan is a huge project…we’ve invested over $6 billion in that development’ ‘...our core values are respect, relationships and responsibility. You look at somewhere like Rajasthan, you see that happening in practice’

Cairn Energy PLC’s legacy in India

Celebrating 10 years since first oil from Mangala oil field, Rajasthan