Cairn Energy reports big profits rise

Cairn Energy has reported pre-tax profits for the first half of 2011 of £733m, compared with £88m in 2010.

Cairn also said its sale of a 40% stake in its Indian business to Vedanta was "moving towards completion".

Shares in Cairn have fallen by about a quarter in the past month. The drop reflects falls in the oil sector as a whole and also concerns about Cairn's oil exploration off Greenland.

The Edinburgh-based company's shares closed the day 1.45% up at 293.90pence.

In early August, Cairn's share price had fallen when it announced that it was abandoning one of its wells off the coast of Greenland after failing to find any oil.

Investors have been hoping that Cairn can reproduce its success in finding oil in India.

In its statement, Cairn said it was, "excited about the prospects and opportunities presented by exploration offshore Greenland".

"The results from the remaining three, or possibly four, wells in the multi-well exploration campaign are expected later this year."

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