Page last updated at 07:37 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 08:37 UK

Cairn celebrates major milestone

Pipeline in Rajasthan
Cairn hopes to start production from Rajasthan this week

Cairn Energy, the Edinburgh-based oil and gas exploration company has announced a half-year loss of £12m.

The results came as the firm said that the first oil from its fields in Rajasthan was due to flow this week.

The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, is expected to press the button to start production.

Cairn first struck oil in the Mangala field in the north west of India five years ago and said the start of production was a major milestone.

The chief executive of Cairn Energy, Sir Bill Gammell, said: "The current planned plateau production from the key fields is 175,000 barrels of oil per day, and we believe there is substantial scope for further growth from the existing fields, from enhanced oil recovery and the expansion of the resource base."

Cairn said it was also excited by its exploration work in Greenland which it said had multibillion-barrel resource potential.

The company is carrying out various tests and said it planned to drill an exploration well in 2011.

Cairn shares closed at 2623 pence on Monday, up 30.2%, or 608 pence, since the start of the year.

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