Nick Walker has been named as the new chief executive of Vedanta-owned Cairn Oil & Gas, India’s largest private-sector oil and gas upstream player.

The Vedanta group on Thursday confirmed Walker’s appointment, and said he had stepped into his new role on 5 January.

Vedanta noted that before joining Cairn Oil & Gas, Walker was president and chief executive of Lundin Energy, one of Europe’s leading independent exploration and production companies. Aker BP last year completed its acquisition of Lundin’s E&P assets.

“Having worked previously in companies like BP, Talisman Energy and Africa Oil, Nick has over 30 years of rich and diverse international experience in technical, commercial and executive leadership roles,” Cairn said.

Vedanta Resources chairman Anil Agarwal said that Walker’s “global experience and incredible track record in the energy sector will provide the right expertise as Cairn embarks on the next phase of growth and sustainability”.

Prachur Sah, who was the deputy chief executive of Cairn Oil & Gas, is believed to have now moved on from the company, Upstream understands.

Sah was helming Cairn’s day-to-day affairs for several years and played a crucial role in securing a 10-year extension to the production sharing contract for its prolific Rajasthan block onshore India.

Walker joins at a time when Cairn has highlighted its vision of contributing 50% to India’s domestic crude production in the long term, and has committed to invest $5 billion to achieve production of 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The company last year said it has hit a production milestone in the development of Mangala — India’s largest onshore oilfield — reaching cumulative output of 500 million barrels of crude.

Mangala — which was discovered in 2004 and put into production in 2009 — has been the object of a huge polymer flood project for enhanced oil recovery.

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