Cairn outlines ambitious drilling plans after Greenland campaign

City A.M. Reporter
BRITAIN’S Cairn Energy has said that new exploration in north west Africa and Ireland, with drilling due to start in weeks, is more likely to succeed than in Greenland, where it has spent $1.2bn (£766m) without finding oil.

After its primary focus on Greenland in 2010 and 2011, the company has spent the past 18 months building up a portfolio of exploration licences in Africa and Ireland.

Cairn said it will drill at least five exploration wells over the next 12 months, two off the coast of Morocco, two off the coast of Senegal, and one off the west coast of Ireland, all of which have a 20 to 25 per cent chance of success.

Spending on frontier exploration in the 2013-2014 period will come in at $510m, Cairn said. “Any one of these wells is potentially game-changing for the company,” chief executive Simon Thomson added.

Cairn will start drilling the first well in Morocco in September.