The company said it will return the cash to shareholders via special dividend following its US$525mln divestment in Senegal.
In a stock market statement, Cairn noted that a 32p per share dividend (equating to US$250mln or £188mln) will be paid on January 25 2021 to shareholders on the register on January 8 2021.
Additionally, the company advised that the agreed transaction to sell all of its Senegal assets to Woodside Petroleum is presently expected to close before the end of 2020.
It is to receive US$525mln comprising a US$300mln deal consideration and US$252mln reimbursement of expenditure that’s accumulated since January 1 2020 (the effective date of the sale).
A further US$100mln is payable in the future contingent upon the timing of first production at the Sangomar field development as well as the prevailing crude prices at that time.
Cairn first agreed a sale of the assets in July, to LUKOIL, and subsequently Woodside – Cairn’s partner and the operator of Sangomar – exercised its right to ‘pre-empt’ the transaction, to buy the assets on the same terms.