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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 January, 2005, 17:05 GMT
Cairn Energy in Indian gas find
A Cairn Energy engineer
A focus on exploration in South Asia has led to oil and gas finds
Shares in Cairn Energy rose 3.8% to 1,088 pence on Tuesday after the UK firm announced a fresh gas discovery in northern India.

The firm, which last year made a number of other new finds in the Rajasthan area, said the latest discovery could lead to large gas volumes.

However, chief executive Bill Gammell cautioned that additional evalution was first needed at the site.

Cairn has also been granted approval to extend its Rajasthan exploration area.

This approval has come from the Indian government.

Astute purchase

A spokesman said the company's decision to carry out further investigations at the new find showed that it believed there was significant gas.

But he added: "It's still too early to say what the extent of it is."

Cairn's string of finds in Rajasthan last year saw it elevated to the FTSE 100 index of the UK's leading listed companies.

The company had bought the rights to explore in the area from oil giant Shell.

Mr Gammell is a former Scottish international rugby player.

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