Cairn India to invest $3 bn in new projects

Energy major Cairn India will invest about Rs16,000 crore ($3 billion) in oil  and gas exploration activities at its flagship oilfields in Rajasthan, besides other blocks in India.

According to Navin Agarwal, chairman, the Vedanta group company will investabout Rs13,000 crore in Rajasthan alone. It plans to drill over 450 wells in the state, besides boosting crude oil production to 215,000 bpd from the present 175,000 bpd capacity.

While Reliance industries is India's largest private sector-gas producer, Cairn India, is the country's largest private oil production company. It operates the country's biggest oilfield in Barmer in Rajasthan. Most of its new investments will be to boost production at the Barmer block.

"We have submitted an integrated field development plan for the Barmer block to the petroleum ministry and we are hopeful that it will be approved soon so that we can expedite production from the Barmer block," noted P Elango, interim CEO, Cairn India, during an interaction with the media.

Key assets in the Barmer block include the Mangala, Bhagyam and Aishwariya fields. Mangala, which was discovered in 2004, is the largest onshore hydrocarbon find in India.

Asked about the government's move to revise the price of gas every quarter, Agarwal welcomed it. "The government is moving in the right direction, this policy change will be very positive for the gas sector and we at Cairn India see it as very encouraging as it will propel us to make gas a very important part of our overall energy portfolio in India."