Cairn taking the plunge in Senegal as Greenland disappoints

Cairn Energy has signed a deal to acquire an interest in Senegal for the first time, as it continues to broaden its reach beyond Greenland, where expensive drilling has yet to yield results.

The oil explorer, which reported it had narrowed its pre-tax loss on continuing operations to $194m (£128m) last year from $1.2bn in 2011, made its name with huge oil discoveries in India in 2004, before partially selling out and shifting focus to frontier exploration in Greenland.

The company said it will acquire stakes in three exploration areas off the coast of Senegal in west Africa, the latest move in a repositioning exercise which has involved it spending around $1bn on buying two companies in the UK and Norwegian North Sea, and also entering Morocco.

On Tuesday, it posted profit after tax for 2012 of $73m.

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