41 New Blocks Place Cairn among the Largest Exploration Startups In The World

Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, officiated the contract signing for the 41 new exploration blocks awarded to Cairn Oil & Gas, Vedanta Limited. As part of the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) round I auction, the government has allotted 41 of 55 oil blocks auctioned to Cairn, in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Rajasthan, Maharashtra , and Gujarat.

The 41 blocks add close to 50,000 square kilometers to Cairn's portfolio. The company currently operates in 6 blocks in India (~6,000 sqkm) and South Africa. The addition will catapult Cairn to become among the largest exploration startups in the world.

Speaking on the development, Anil Agarwal, Executive Chairman, Vedanta PLC, said, "We congratulate the government for their progressive vision to develop this national asset, and appreciate the faith they have reposed in us. We are committed to producing 50% of India's crude, and the new explorations will take us closer to that vision. India has great potential and this is a huge enabler to boost domestic production to lead the nation towards energy security".

Mr. Sudhir Mathur, CEO, Cairn Oil & Gas said, "We are looking forward to large, global partnerships to undertake exploration aggressively in these blocks, even as we continue to chase new discoveries in existing fields. We recently announced a new gas discovery in the KG basin. More recently, we feel encouraged by the incentives provided to Enhanced Oil Recovery(EOR). We have invested deeply in it and will continue to be early adopters of technology to enhance production for the nation".

The new exploration opportunity will mark a phase of significant expansion for the oil & gas industry in India. Cairn has already planned investments worth $4 billion in existing fields over the next three to four years, of which contracts worth $2.3 billion have been awarded to ramp up oil and gas production through increased exploration, enhanced oil recovery, and development projects. The new fields are expected to require an additional investment of $500 million in these States, which will increase manifold in case of discovery. This addition will further Cairn's ambition to contribute to 50% of India's crude oil production. Cairn currently contributes to a quarter of India's crude oil production.