Independent oil and gas exploration and production company, Cairn Energy plc (CRNCY) announced the details of its 2014 exploration program, whereby it plans to drill nine wells in the frontier and mature basins.
Cairn Energy plans to drill four wells as part of its frontier basin exploration program. It would drill one well offshore Morocco, two wells off the coast of Senegal and one well off the West Ireland coast. Meanwhile, the company is also planning an exploration well in the Cap Boujdour Contract Area and is under discussion with its joint venture partner on the Pitu block prospect.
As part of its mature basin exploration and development program, Cairn Energy is planning to drill four exploration and appraisal wells in the North Sea. The company has also received positive results from the Skarfjell appraisal well and looks for further development on the project.
Cairn Energy’s Kraken Field Development Plan received the green signal from the U.K. government. The project is expected to come online in the latter half of 2016 or first half of 2017 and has a projected output of 50,000 barrels oil per day.
The company reported that its net cash position as of Dec 31, 2013 was $1.25 billion. Of the company’s $300 million share repurchase program, it revealed that shares worth about $42 million have already been repurchased. Over the last five years, the company has returned about $4.5 billion to its shareholders.
The company also mentioned in its pre-close update that it would report full-year 2013 results on Mar 18, 2014.
Headquartered in Edinburgh, Cairn Energy currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. market in the next one to three months.
Meanwhile, one can consider better-ranked stocks of Athlon Energy Inc. (ATHL), Clayton Williams Energy, Inc. (CWEI) and Linn Co, LLC (LNCO). All these stocks currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).