Byline: Rob Davies
CAIRN Energy took another step towards tapping into a black-gold mine off the coast of Greenland, after its latest exploration well delivered promising results.
The Edinburgh-based firm said it had encountered both oil and gas after drilling to a depth of 4,358m, although it cannot yet determine whether the field can be exploited.
Shares in the oil and gas explorer put on 9.7p to close at 436.5p as investors digested the latest encouraging signs in what could prove to be a bonanza for firms with drilling licences off the coast of the huge but sparselypopulated Danish dependency. Analysts at Bernstein said the results were 'encouraging' but pointed out that 'the main prize remains elusive so far'.
But if Cairn does strike it lucky with one of its eight drilling licences, its stock stands to skyrocket on the potential for exploiting Greenland's vast reserves. Geological surveys have estimated that there could be 50bn barrels of oil underneath the Arctic sea bed, or more than has been extracted from the North Sea in its entire history.
And the icy northern tip of the globe is thought to hold more than a quarter of the world's undiscovered gas reserves and 13pc of its oil.
Numbers like these have prompted Cairn to throw its full weight into Greenland, investing [pounds sterling]271m in the area this year alone. …