CAIRN Energy has dismissed a report that it is in talks to sell a stake in a giant oil find off Senegal to BP in a deal that could be worth about $600 million.

Reuters said BP wants to acquire a 30 per cent stake in the SNE field that Edinburgh-based Cairn found in 2014.

“We are aware that BP wants to acquire a stake in Cairn Energy, but they are awaiting validation by the state (of Senegal),” an adviser to Senegal’s oil minister, who declined to be named, told Reuters. It also cited unnamed banking sources.

However, a spokesperson for Cairn said: “There is no substance to reports concerning Cairn’s assets in Senegal.”

BP said it does not comment on speculation.

Led by chief executive Simon Thomson, Cairn has generated lots of attention in the global oil and gas industry since making the SNE find, which it reckons may contain 2.7 billion barrels oil.

Billed as the largest oil discovery made in the world that year, SNE underlined the potential of an area in which there has been relatively little drilling.

BP acquired interests off Senegal last year from Kosmos Energy. It made a gas discovery off the country in May. The company said then the success confirmed its belief that offshore Senegal and Mauritania is a world-class hydrocarbon basin.