Key interests   UK

The UK is a core region for Cairn and we have built a strong position in mature and emerging basins by acquiring exploration, appraisal and development assets and participating in licensing rounds.


In early 2020, Cairn entered into an asset exchange agreement with Shell UK Limited  in which Cairn transferred a 50% WI in P2379 in exchange for 50% WI of P2380. Each licence, in the vicinity of the Nelson platform, contains a firm commitment to drill an exploration well, with both wells planned to be drilled in the period from H2 2020 to H1 2021.


In 2012 we acquired non-operated interests in two of the largest developments in the UK North Sea, Kraken and Catcher. During 2017 both projects achieved first oil production.


Cairn holds a 20% non-operated interest in Catcher and a 29.5% non-operated interest in Kraken, these projects provide production and cash flow to Cairn.

Net oil production to Cairn from the Catcher and Kraken fields in 2019 averaged 23,000 barrels of oil per day and in 2020 net production is estimated to be 19,000 – 23,000.


The Catcher Area Fields are a combination of the Catcher, Varadero and Burgman fields ~170 km east of Aberdeen.

Catcher remain on plateau and cumulative production to date is more than 47 mmbbls.In H1 2020, average gross production was ~ 54,500 bopd (~10,900 bopd net to Cairn). 

The JV continues to mature a programme of high return investments to maximise economic recovery from within and around the Catcher Area.


Kraken is a large heavy oil accumulation located in the East Shetland basin, ~125km east of the Shetland Islands.

Kraken’s cumulative production to date is more than 33 mmbbls.

Average gross production from the field in the fH1 2020, was ~ 39,000 bopd (~11,500 bopd net to Cairn). 

In 2020, Kraken will deliver two new wells in the Worcester area in the Western flank where there is further remaining potential.


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