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Bids to be called for oil exploration

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The Government said it will call for a fresh round of bids to develop oil and natural gas discoveries in the M2 Block of the Mannar Basin, located off the western coast of Sri Lanka, aiming to attract top international companies.

Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila said the Government was expecting to offer an international licensing round for the appraisal and development of natural gas discoveries in M2 by January next year.

The Minister added that the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) had identified several blocks for offshore oil exploration in the Mannar Basin, the Cauvery Basin, and the Lanka Basin. Already several well-known companies had already expressed interest in the mapped blocks.

“The two test wells, Dorado and Barracuda have produced natural gas. Our aim is to find gas within the next three years,” Minister Gammanpila said.

In a gazette notice, the Energy Ministry published a map of blocks for joint exploration for oil and gas in the Mannar Basin recently.

The map contains 873 blocks of 15×15 km each and will enable investors to select preferred plots for exploration without difficulty.

The project has the potential to deliver over two billion barrels of oil and nine trillion cubic feet of natural gas, officials said.

Based on data acquired from seismic surveys, the Sri Lankan Government estimates that there are over one million barrels of oil resources in a 30,000 square km area in the country’s northern waters. (Xinhua)

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