London: British oil firm Cairn Energy said on Thursday it expected to shortly complete a long-delayed deal to sell a stake in its Indian business.

The company has been waiting for more than a year to conclude a $6 billion deal which will see miner Vedanta Resources buy a majority stake in Rajasthan-based oil producer Cairn India.

A file photo of Cairn Energy chief executive officer (CEO) Bill Gammell, left, shaking hands with Vedanta Resources chairman Anil Agarwal

Cairn, which will own a 22% stake in the Indian unit after the deal, has shifted its focus from India to exploration in Greenland, where it has so far been unsuccessful. It has drilled six dry holes in the country in the last two years at a total cost of $785 million.

Drilling is ongoing at two wells off the coast of Greenland, the company said, adding the three unsuccessful wells it has drilled in 2011 plus one carried over from last year have cost a total of $573 million.

Shares in Cairn traded down 1.7% at 282.4 pence, underperforming the European oil and gas sector which was 0.5% lower, and valuing the firm at around £4 billion.

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