Thursday 18 October 2012 7:41 pm

Cairn hails portfolio progress as it confirms Morocco drilling

CAIRN Energy yesterday said that it was continuing to rebalance the business to deliver growth as it eyed exploration opportunities. The explorer has just acquired two frontier exploration blocks in Morocco, with the first well targeted in the fourth quarter of next year, it said in an interim management statement. The FTSE 100 oil and gas firm is also focused on the Pitu block off the North-West coast of Greenland, targeting initial drilling in 2014. Cairn added that over the next 12 months, it is targeting a ramp-up in its North Sea operations, and said yesterday it is looking to participate in multiple exploration and appraisal wells. Over the year, six wells have been drilled and three are currently operating. The Greater Catcher area of the North Sea, in which Cairn owns a 30 per cent stake, has some “excellent quality” reserves, the explorer added. Analyst Sanjeev Bahl at Numis said yesterday: “We believe the company’s re-balanced portfolio, which continues to evolve, provides the foundations for sustainable growth. The asset base consists of lower risk development and appraisal opportunities as well as higher impact, operated exploration opportunities that have the potential to create significant value for shareholders.”