Disposal of Interests in the Dutch Sector of the North Sea

14 August, 2003

Cairn announces that, on 13 August, it disposed of all of its interests in the Dutch sector of the North Sea through the sale of its subsidiary Holland Sea Search B.V. (“HSS”) to Dyas B.V. for a cash consideration of approximately US$26 million as at the effective date of 1 January 2003.

HSS holds the following interests (“the disposal interests”):-

  • a 4.425% interest in the Markham gas field (Blocks J/3b and J/6);
  • a 1.725% interest in Block J/3c;
  • a 9.75% interest in Block P/6;
  • a 6.944% interest in Block P/12;
  • a 4.730297% interest in Block P9/a;
  • a 1.775058% interest in Block P9/a & b deep; and
  • a 4.7653% interest in Block P/9c.

Average net production from the disposal interests during 2002 was 1,834 barrels of oil equivalent per day, representing 8% of Cairn’s average daily production for 2002. Reserves associated with the disposal interests as at 31 December 2002 were 2.66 million barrels of oil equivalent, representing 3% of overall Group reserves on a net entitlement basis.

As at 31 December 2002 HSS’s audited balance sheet had net liabilities of €2.823 million while generating a profit after tax of €6.930 million for the year ended 31 December 2002.

The proceeds from the disposal of HSS will be used to further reduce borrowings and will provide Cairn with additional working capital to progress projects in its core area of South Asia.


Bill Gammell, Chief Executive, commented:

“The disposal of these non-core interests is in line with Cairn’s strategy of concentrating on the geographic region of South Asia, where the Group holds material exploration, development and production assets.”


Enquiries to:-

Cairn Energy PLC:
Mike Watts, Exploration Director Tel: 0131 475 3000
Kevin Hart, Finance Director Tel: 0131 475 3000

Brunswick Group Limited:
Catherine Bertwistle, Mark Antelme Tel: 0207 404 5959

Notes to Editors:-

"Cairn” where referred to in this release means Cairn Energy PLC and/or its subsidiaries, as appropriate.