Cairn Doubles Oil, Gas Output on India Startup

LONDON (Dow Jones), Jan. 28, 2010

Cairn Energy said Thursday its 2009 net oil and gas production more than doubled to 27,008 barrels a day on average due to the startup of the company's major fields in Rajasthan, India.

"The delivery of the Rajasthan project with its significant long term production potential underpins the growth strategy of Cairn," said Chief Executive Bill Gammell.

The Mangala field in Rajasthan, which is operated by Cairn Energy subsidiary Cairn India, and started pumping oil last summer, produced 15,430 barrels of oil a day on average in the fourth quarter of 2009 and has averaged more than 20,000 barrels a day this year, Cairn said in a statement.

Mangala is on track to produce 120,000 barrels of oil a day by the end of the first half of this year after phase two and three of the field come onstream, Cairn said. A fourth phase will bring the field up to plateau production of 175,0000 barrels a day at a later date.

Cairn should be able to more than triple its average net oil and gas production this year to around 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day as India ramps up, said analysts at Bernstein Research.

Cairn said it has $1.2 billion of cash on its balance sheet and is expected to generate much more as production from Rajasthan increases.

This robust cash position means the company should not need further funding to make steady progress on the India development or exploration drilling in Greenland, Bernstein added.

The 590-kilometer pipeline that will export this oil to the coast of the neighboring state of Gujarat has been laid, and testing and commissioning is progressing, it said.

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