About us

Our story

Capricorn Energy has been listed on the London Stock Exchange for over 30 years and is an experienced oil and gas explorer, developer and producer that has operated in a variety of locations around the world.

Historically, the company focused on South Asia where we created significant value for shareholders and stakeholders, particularly through the discovery, development and production of oil in Rajasthan, India. This was the largest onshore discovery in India for more than 25 years with the potential to provide more than 30% of India’s daily crude oil production and generate many billions of US dollars in revenue for the Government of India.

In 2006 the Indian business, Cairn India Limited (CIL), was listed on the Indian stock exchanges and in 2012, the majority stake in CIL was sold and the cash returned to shareholders as part of our business model to create, add and realise value for shareholders. Between 2006 and 2012, we returned US$4.5 billion to shareholders.

Having created a legacy asset for India, we then focused on rebuilding the business to create, add and realise value once again through exploration, development and production. We made the largest global offshore discovery of 2014 in Senegal, and participated in the development of two of the largest projects in the UK North Sea, Catcher and Kraken, which began production in 2017 and our interests were subsequently sold in November 2021.

We have a flexible exploration portfolio with a balance of near infrastructure, short cycle time opportunities with high value while remaining exposed to large, more frontier opportunities.

1980
  • Company founded by Sir Bill Gammell
1988
  • Cairn Energy PLC formed and listed on the London Stock Exchange with market capitalisation of £25 million
1993
  •  Entry into Bangladesh via joint venture with Holland Sea Search N.V
1994
  •  Acquisition of further interest in Bangladesh
1995
  •  Acquisition of Holland Sea Search N.V, increasing Bangladesh presence
1996
  • Acquisition of Command Petroleum Limited, which included operatorship of the Ravva field in India
  • Sangu gas field discovered in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh
1997
  • Partnership with Shell in Bangladesh and India, including a 10% interest in Rajasthan (India) block
1998
  • Interest acquired in the Cambay Basin, India, with Cairn as operator
  • First gas from Sangu, Bangladesh
  • First exploration well in Rajasthan, India (Guda)
1999
  • First Rajasthan discovery (Guda)
  • Ravva oil field reserves doubled and production increased from 3,700 bopd to 50,000 bopd
2000
  • First Cambay Basin discovery, Lakshmi, India
2001
  • Second Cambay Basin discovery, Gauri, India
2002
  • 100% of Rajasthan block acquired from Shell
  • First gas from Lakshmi, India (discovery to delivery in 28 months)
2003
  • Second Rajasthan discovery (Raageshwari)
2004
  • Three major Rajasthan discoveries – Mangala (the largest onshore oil find in India for 25 years), Bhagyam and Aishwariya
  • Joined the FTSE 100
2005
  • First oil from Gauri field, India
2006
  • Cairn India Limited (CIL) created
2007
  • Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Cairn India Limited on Indian Stock Exchanges, raising US$2 billion and returning US$1 billon to shareholders, 69% interest retained, biggest IPO in India at the time
  • Acquired interests offshore Greenland
2009
  • Production commenced from the Mangala field, Rajasthan
  • Mangala Processing Terminal (processing the crude oil from the Rajasthan fields) opened
2010
  • Pipeline from Rajasthan to refineries completed, world’s longest pipeline at the time
  • Three wells drilled offshore Greenland
2011
  • Five wells drilled offshore Greenland
2012
  • Sale of 40% of Cairn India Limited (CIL) to Vedanta Resources Limited; US$3.5 billion returned to shareholders, 10% interest in CIL
  • Sale of additional 11.5% interest in CIL for ~US$1.3 billion
  • Acquisition of UK listed company Nautical Petroleum PLC, bringing exploration and development assets in UK and Norwegian North Sea (including Kraken development) and exploration in Morocco
  • Acquisition of private Norwegian company Agora Oil and Gas AG, bringing exploration and development assets in UK and Norwegian North Sea (including Catcher development)
2013
  • Farm-in as operator to three blocks offshore Senegal, West Africa
  • ConocoPhillips acquired 25% interest in blocks offshore Senegal, company retained operatorship and 40% interest
  • First well drilled offshore Morocco, Foum Draa permit
2014
  • Second well drilled offshore Morocco, Juby Maritime permit
  • Two successful wells drilled offshore Senegal, resulting in the FAN and Sangomar oil discoveries
2015
  • Relinquishment of Foum Draa and Juby Maritime permits offshore Morocco
  • Non-operated well offshore Western Sahara
2016
  • Four successful exploration and appraisal wells offshore Senegal
2017
  • Five successful exploration and appraisal wells offshore Senegal
  • Two licences awarded in Mexico offshore licensing round
  • First oil delivered from both Kraken and Catcher developments
2018
  • Development planning in Senegal with first oil expected 2023 and in Norway with first oil expected 2021
  • Third licence acquired offshore Mexico
  • First full year of production from Kraken and Catcher in the North Sea
  • New country interests acquired in Suriname, Mauritania and Côte d’Ivoire
2019
  • Equity swaps to increase acreage position offshore Mexico
  • Production from Kraken and Catcher fields materially improved
  • New country interests acquired in Israel
  • Active exploration programme spanning the UK and Mexico
2020
  • Final Investment Decision on Sangomar Development Senegal
  • Oil discovery offshore Mexico
  • Disposal of Capricorn Norge AS
  • Disposal of Senegal assets
  • The tribunal established to rule on claim against the Government of India found in company’s favour, awarding damages of US$1.2billion plus interest and costs
2021
  • US$250m special dividend following sale of Senegal interests
  • Acquisition of Western Desert Assets, Egypt from Shell
  • Sale of the Kraken and Catcher production assets
  • Company renamed Capricorn Energy PLC
2022
  • Indian tax refund of INR79 billion paid and net proceeds of US$1.06 billion received.

 

Case Study

Tradewater Partnership

We have invested in the development of greenhouse gas emissions avoidance projects in partnership with Tradewater – a US-based company focused on finding, collecting, and destroying the most potent greenhouse gases, such as chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants.

Our investment will help develop identification and collection networks for these gases in developing countries around the world and will yield 250,000 tonnes of high-quality carbon offset credits over the next five years from the destruction of old refrigerants.

Our carbon offset strategy is aligned with the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA) and Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) principles and is focused on the acquisition of high-quality carbon credits, verified by Verra or Gold Standard. Carbon credits are not older than 2016 and can be either portfolio or project-based. We will aim to retire the oldest carbon credits first. It is important that carbon offset projects demonstrate strong co-benefits, supporting socioeconomic development, health, protecting water quality or biodiversity. We aim to align our carbon offset strategy with the UNSDG goals and Capricorn’s Code of Ethics.

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In addition to our investment with Tradewater, we have also acquired portfoliobased carbon offsets, which include REDD+ (Reduction of Deforestation and Forest Degradation) projects in Guatemala and Cambodia, as well as landfill gas extraction projects in Brazil and Turkey.

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