Scottish based oil and gas exploration company Cairn Energy announced this week that they are plugging an exploratory well in the North Sea as it has proven to be ‘dry’.

In a further jolt to investors’ confidence, a UK cross-party committee has called for a moratorium for Arctic drilling, where Cairn intends to resume drilling in 2014. The committee is not convinced safety standards are resilient enough for this fragile and unique environment.

Cairn Energy is renowned for risky, short-term strategies that rely on finding oil and gas quickly. However, it is increasingly clear that this strategy isn’t working.

Paul Daly, Corporate Accountability Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“This has been a tough year for Cairn Energy. They recently reported a pre-tax loss of $50m, and now they have had to own up that their well in the North Sea is dry – yet another expensive gamble that hasn’t paid off.

“The world won’t sit by as the Arctic is plundered for its resources. Cairn should cut their losses before it’s too late. A disaster on the scale of Deep Water Horizon in the Arctic would be unprecedented and unmanageable and would almost certainly ring the death knell for Cairn.”


For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
 t: 0131 243 2719 

Notes to Editors

1. Corporate Accountability: Cairn Energy

2. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.