Cairn poised for major drilling drive

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Cairn Energy is about to start a year-long exploration drilling programme as it searches for oil along the Atlantic margin.

Operations will “commence shortly” on the first well offshore Morocco, the firm said in its latest update to the stock market.

The Edinburgh-based group has two rigs contracted, which will then drill a further four wells in what it calls a “12-month multi-well high impact frontier exploration programme”.

Chief executive Simon Thomson said: “Cairn has built a strategic position along the frontier basins of the Atlantic Margin, including Morocco, Senegal, Ireland, Mauritania and Greenland and is about to commence a 12 month multi-well high impact exploration programme offering shareholders exposure to material growth potential.

“Cairn continues to follow its policy of maintaining appropriate balance sheet strength as it progresses its exploration and development programmes.”

A decision on the group’s joint venture offshore Greenland is due before the end of next year, the firm added.