Cairn’s third quarter earnings at Rs23 cr

Cairn’s third quarter earnings at Rs23 cr

Singapore: The Indian unit of Cairn Energy Plc., Cairn India Ltd, posted a profit of Rs23.2 crore in the quarter ended September. The income includes that of its subsidiaries in India.

Sales at Cairn India and its subsidiaries rose by 9.25% to Rs265 crore compared with the quarter ended June, the company said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Thursday. Cairn India, which listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange on 9 January, didn’t give year-ago earnings. Cairn also separately reported stand-alone earnings figures for the third quarter.

Upstream oil explorer Cairn India sold shares in December to part-finance development of its fields in Rajasthan. The company expects oil output from the Rajasthan field to reach 150,000 barrels a day (bpd) by 2009. The company’s shares fell 1.8%, to close at Rs201.15 on Thursday on BSE.

Cairn’s consolidated entity has 15 areas of which two, in Cambay Basin on the west coast and Ravva in the east, are in production operations, company spokesperson David Nisbet said. The Rajasthan oil block is under development and the remaining areas are being explored, he added.

The company has placed orders for pipes after it got government approval in August to build a pipeline to transport crude oil from its fields in Rajasthan to a port.

Cairn India plans to spend $1.5 billion (Rs5,925 crore) on developing 1 billion barrels of reserves in four fields in Rajasthan. The planned output compares with India’s current production of 660,000bpd.

Cairn Energy, the UK parent of the Indian unit, was tipped by Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. in a report on Wednesday as “by far the best" merger candidate in European exploration and production. Traders said BP Plc., Europe’s second largest oil company, may be preparing a takeover bid for Edinburgh-based Cairn.

“We view Cairn as by far the most potential merger and acquisition candidate in the European exploration and production sector," Merrill analyst Andrew Knott wrote in a report. Cairn has a “world-scale undeveloped resource base in Rajasthan."