Cairn Energy faces further delay to £1bn Indian tax dispute

The Edinburgh-based firm has interests in a number of locations around the world. Picture: Contributed
The Edinburgh-based firm has interests in a number of locations around the world. Picture: Contributed
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Cairn Energy, the Edinburgh-headquartered oil explorer and producer, has said that a decision over its long-running £1 billion-plus tax claim against the Indian government is unlikely to be made until next summer.

The group had previously been hoping that an arbitration panel handling its claim against India under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty would make a decision by the end of 2019.

Cairn has interests in the North Sea. Picture: Contributed

Cairn has interests in the North Sea. Picture: Contributed

In an update to investors, Cairn noted: “The Arbitral Tribunal has indicated that, whilst it is not yet able to commit to a specific award release date, it expects to be in a position to issue the award in the summer of 2020.

“Cairn continues to have a high level of confidence in the merits of its claims in the arbitration and is seeking full restitution for losses of more than $1.4bn (£1.1bn).”

Proceedings

The firm commenced proceedings against India in 2015 following retrospective taxation actions undertaken by the Indian income tax department a year earlier.

The lengthy tax dispute centres on restructuring undertaken by Cairn Energy ahead of the flotation of its Indian unit in 2007.

Meanwhile, Cairn has made a disappointing start to its drilling programme off the coast of Mexico. The group said the first well sunk, to a depth of 2,056 metres, was found to be dry and would be permanently plugged and abandoned.

READ MORE: North Sea production ahead of hopes as Cairn Energy moves to profit