Cairn Energy may have the fortitude to search for oil in the Arctic but it has more than met its match in the hotter climes of India. Sub-zero temperatures and pack ice can be no more hostile than an indecisive, glacial regulator.
Seven months on from an offer by Vedanta to buy Cairn Energy’s Rajasthan oilfields for $9.6bn, the Indian government has yet to approve the deal. The last two days of crisis meeting in New Delhi may have helped move the portfolio forward. Bland statements, rather than the hoopla of breakthrough, suggest by an inch or two at most.