Shares drop as Cairn turns up its sixth dry Greenland well

BRITISH oil explorer Cairn Energy said it drilled a dry hole off the coast of Greenland, its sixth unsuccessful well in the country, denting hopes that a new multibillion barrel basin is waiting to be found in the Arctic region.

Cairn, which is close to concluding a deal to sell part of its stake in its Indian business so it can focus on Greenland, said yesterday the Delta-1 exploration well failed to find oil or gas.

Delta-1 is the third dry hole Cairn has drilled this year, following its three unsuccessful attempts to find oil off the coast of Greenland in 2010, illustrating the difficulties in finding oil in the vast, little explored region.

The company has two more rolls of the dice in Greenland this year before the summer drilling season ends. It has already started drilling well AT2-1 and will re-enter AT7-1, both on the Atammik block.