Cairn starts selling Rajasthan gas; activates new field

Cairn India Ltd, which runs India's biggest onshore oil and gas fields in Rajasthan, said today it has started its first commercial sales of natural gas from the area and activated a new oil field to revive dwindling output.

The explorer will sell five million standard cubic feet a day of gas from its blocks in Rajasthan initially.

According to a company statement, Cairn India also started Aishwariya, an oil field in the western state, with a capacity of 10,000 barrels a day, which amounts to 6 per cent of its output from the region.

Cairn India, an arm of the Scotland-based oil explorer Cairn Plc, was acquired by Anil Agarwal's Vedanta Resources Plc for $8.67 billion in December 2011. It is now starting new fields and seeking oil deposits to raise output by 71 per cent to 300,000 barrels a day from the area.

In January, Cairn India confirmed lower well productivity at the Bhagyam field and cut output guidance to 200,000 barrels a day by 31 March 2014 from almost 240,000 barrels a day by 31 December 2013.

Cairn is producing about 175,000 barrels of crude a day from Rajasthan, according to a presentation on its website put up on 18 March. The Mangala field in the state is producing about 150,000 barrels a day and Bhagyam 25,000 barrels.

Cairn India start drilling its first new well in four years to discover new oil pools in Rajasthan block, the company said in a stock exchange filing in late February. The company reported a 48 per cent increase in profit to Rs3,340 - Rs16.5 a share - in the quarter ended 31 December after it increased production from the Rajasthan block.