- Oil company Cairn Energy booked a first-half loss, but said it expected to return up to $700 million to shareholders following a positive resolution in an Indian tax dispute.

Net losses for the six months through June, including from discontinued operations, amounted to $100.2 million, compared to year-on-year losses of $323.5 million.

Cairn Energy last week announced a major change in strategy, which would see it sell is North Sea assets and buy assets in Egypt from Royal Dutch Shell.

On Tuesday, it said the planned sale of its producing assets in the North Sea was progressing towards completion in the fourth quarter of 2021.

'Our significant acquisition in Egypt, which we expect to complete shortly, adds material gas-weighted production, low-cost, near-term growth and attractive exploration potential, in a region with strong demand trends,' chief executive Simon Thomson said.

'We intend to use our differentiated financial flexibility to add further scale to our production base and look forward to the next phase of strategic delivery.'

'Progress in resolving our Indian tax issue and active portfolio management leave Cairn well-positioned to deliver growth from a sustainable business, focused on generating further value and returns for shareholders.'

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