Manmohan Singh dedicates Cairn's Mangala field to the nation

Cairn India, the country's second largest private crude oil producer, started production at its Mangala oil field in Barmer, Rajasthan, from Saturday.

"Cairn's efforts show that the investment climate is very good in India," said prime minister Manmohan Singh who turned on the tap.

"I invite entrepreneurs to make investment in India and the government will extend all support," he added.

 The company, which is a subsidiary of the UK-based Cairn Energy Plc, operates three oil fields in Barmer namely Mangala, Bhagyam and Aishwariya (MBA). It together has a recoverable oil reserve of one billion barrels. The Rajasthan operations are carried out on a 70:30 partnership with the state behemoth ONGC.

With this, the company will gradually start production from its other fields also. The next in line is Rageshwari (which is mainly gas for internal consumption) followed by some of the smaller fields (such as Saraswati), Bhagyam and finally Aishwariya.

Sir Bill Gammell, chairman of Cairn India, backed Dr. Singh's claim over India's investment climate. ''India provides both opportunity and cooperation for development,'' Sir Gammell said.