Cairn acquires 60 per cent Block 1 stake in Orange Basin from PetroSA

Cairn India, striking its first deal after its acquisition by Vedanta Resources, has taken a 60 per cent stake from PetroSA in an oil and gas exploration block on the west coast of South Africa, a move which extends Cairn India's presence abroad beyond Sri Lanka.

Cairn India would conduct seismic surveys and carry out initial exploration drilling on the block comprising an existing gas field, discovered in 1987.

The time for production to commence would be determined by the nature and volume of hydrocarbons found.

P Elango, Cairn India director (strategy) said it was an important step for the company's growth beyond the Indian sub-continent. He said the company saw an attractive opportunity to leverage its capabilities in a rapidly-emerging area and aspired to build a wider business in the region.

Elango is set to take over on 1 September as officiating chief executive, following the resignation of Rahul Dhir a week earlier.

According to a company statement, Cairn India would be the operator in the block, while PetroSA, owned by the South African government, would hold the remaining interest. The closure of the transaction would be subject to regulatory approvals from the South African government.