UK firm finds oil off Greenland

An Edinburgh-based oil explorer has found oil for the first time off the coast of Greenland, it was announced today.

Cairn Energy – led by former Scottish rugby international and founder Bill Gammell – said it had discovered gas and two types of oil in drilling operations in the untapped Baffin Bay basin, although further analysis is needed.

The discovery offset news that the firm had abandoned an earlier well off Greenland, which caused excitement last month when Cairn announced it had found possible signs of oil.

It is writing off $84.2m (€99.5m) in costs after revealing the well was not a “commercial discovery”.

But shares leapt more than 3% ahead as investors cheered the latest oil hopes.

Gammell said: “The presence of both oil and gas confirms an active, working petroleum system in the basin and is extremely encouraging at this very early stage of our exploration campaign.”

Cairn is the only firm so far to have been granted permission to drill for oil offshore in Greenland.

Its discovery is expected to spark a rush of interest from the oil industry in the Arctic waters, although environmental campaigner Greenpeace has already raised concerns over drilling in the region following BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster.

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