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Cairn India to spend $3 billion on oil exploration in 3 years

NEW DELHI: Vedanta group firm Cairn India will invest $ 3 billion (over 16,000 crore) in the next three years to expand its oil and gas production in the country, a top company official said today. 

Of this, more than 80 per cent (over Rs 12,800 crore) of the total capex will be invested on Cairn's prolific Barmer oil block in Rajasthan, company's CEO P Elango said, adding that entire capex will be met through internal resources only. 

"We have planned a capex of $ 3 billion, generated from internal resources, in next three years between financial years 2013-14 and 2015-16. Over 80 per cent of the capex will be invested on the Rajasthan block and this excludes any new ventures," he said, while speaking during the annual results presentation of Cairn's parent firm Vedanta Resources. 

Elango further said that oil production from Barmer block will increase more than 26 per cent to 2,15,000 barrels per day from the current daily average of 1,70,000 barrels by the end of current fiscal. 

The oil major also has plans to ramp up production from the 
Bhagyam field of the Barmer block during the second half of current fiscal. Besides, it is also looking at producing oil from two smaller fields at the Barmer hills during the current fiscal, he said. 

Moreover, the company has plans to drill 100 new oil wells to monetise new reserves at the Rajasthan block, whose resource potential is 7.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent. 

Cairn is also evaluating its options to monetise the discovered gas in its Sri Lankan block, Elango said. 

The company, which is also the operator of India's biggest onland oilfield, has reported a net profit of Rs 11,919.74 crore in last fiscal. Its net sales was Rs 17,524.15 crore in FY'13. 

Profits earned by Cairn has also helped its parent firm 
Vedanta Resources to post 21 per cent growth in its core profits (EBITDA) at $ 4.888 billion for the year ended March, 2013 and 163 per cent growth in its net profit attributable to shareholders at $ 157.4 million. 

Cairn alone contributed 49 per cent of Vedanta's 
EBITDA. Last year, the oil major had reported 19 per cent growth in its production at 2,05,323 barrels of oil equivalent per day.