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Cairn Energy boss “excited” by busy year ahead

Cairn’s boss Simon Thomson will tell investors at today’s AGM that the oil company made big strides in 2017, something he expects to see again in 2018
offshore oil rig
Cairn is fully funded for all of its planned activities this year

A bullish AGM statement from Cairn Energy PLC (LON:CNE) sent shares in the billion-pound oil explorer higher on Tuesday.

At the Annual General Meeting in Edinburgh later today, Cairn’s chief executive Simon Thomson will tell investors that progress in the North Sea, Norway, Africa and Mexico will make for another “busy and successful year”.

The Catcher and Kraken development in the North Sea, both of which achieved first oil last year, are ramping up to full production and are expected about 17,000-20,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) to the company over this year, with that figure set to grow in 2019.

Fully-funded

A third appraisal drilling campaign has been wrapped in Senegal, where Thomson reckons Cairn and its partners have a “world class” field.

That isn’t due to start producing until sometime between 2021 and 2023, but Cairn still expects to pass “several key milestones” in the country this year.

Over in Norway, Thomson will tell investors that he is “excited” for the Nova project, where a plan for development and operation (PDO) will be submitted “imminently”.

As for exploration, Cairn is planning to drill four wells in 2019 and 2020 in Mexico where it has acquired new licences.

“These sit in very attractive acreage next to blocks where significant discoveries have recently been made and we have already identified several attractive prospects and leads,” says Thomson.

He adds: “All of this planned activity is fully funded. We have significant funding headroom, and we have already started to receive cash flows from Catcher and Kraken that ensure we retain our flexibility.”

Cairn shares were up almost 3% to 247.2p early on Tuesday Morning.



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