Cairn JV Begins New 9 Month Drilling at Ravva Field

NEW DELHI Oct 5, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires)

U.K.-based Cairn Energy PLC (CNE.LN) Thursday said it has initiated a new drilling campaign in the joint venture Ravva oil field located off the coast of the southern Andhra Pradesh state.

In a statement Cairn said: "It is envisaged that the nine-month long program will allow Ravva oil field to stay on plateau production of 50,000 barrels of oil a day until the end of 2007."

Cairn didn't provide the size of the investment by the joint venture partners in the campaign.

The Ravva field has been producing oil for more than a decade. Cairn is the field's operator.

"Six infill wells and one firm exploration prospect will be drilled using the Hercules rig which arrived in the region from Malaysia recently," Cairn said, adding that in addition to these seven, there are options for this rig to drill a further five wells.

The crude oil produced at the Ravva field is sold to state-run refiners Bongaigaon Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (500072.BY) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. (500104.BY).

Cairn holds a 22.5% stake in Ravva. India's state-run petroleum exploration company Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (500312.BY) holds a 40% stake, while 25% is held by Videocon Industries Ltd. (511389.BY). Ravva Oil, a wholly owned subsidiary of Marubeni Corp. (8002.TO), holds the remaining 12.5%.

Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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