Cairn India eyes expansion into east Africa

Cairn India eyes expansion into east Africa

Nairobi: Cairn India, majority held by Cairn Energy is interested in expanding into east Africa, a senior company executive said on Wednesday.

“We are looking to grow our business elsewhere and east Africa is an obvious place to consider," David Ginger, Cairn India’s director of exploration and new ventures, told a regional oil and gas conference in Nairobi.

Cairn India is one of India’s biggest private exploration and production companies and largely operates in India and Sri Lanka.

Ginger did not say which east African countries the company was eyeing in the region.

East Africa has attracted increasing prospecting interest as insecurity in other parts of the continent, unrest in the Middle East and increasing energy nationalism elsewhere push explorers to seek new sources.

Gas discoveries in Tanzania, and oil discoveries on the border between Uganda and Congo have raised interest in the region, which had been largely overlooked. Uganda expects to launch commercial oil production next year.

Cairn Energy is in the process of selling its stake in the Indian unit to India-focused miner Vedanta Plc, but the transaction has been delayed due to a dispute over royalty payments by Cairn India’s partner, state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp.