06th April 2010, www.news.lk
Sri Lanka is to broaden its search for offshore oil and offer more exploration blocks in the Cauvery Basin in the island's north as well as the south, the Central Bank said.
These will be in addition to blocks in the Mannar Basin off the north-west coast where Cairn India is searching for oil. The Ministry of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development plans to conduct the second licensing round for oil exploration in the near future, the Central Bank said in its annual report.
"A few blocks from the Mannar Basin as well as some blocks from the more prospective Cauvery Basin and the southern offshore basin, would be available for competitive bidding."
Prospects for finding oil and gas deposits are considered good because India has found oil on her side of the Mannar and Cauvery basins.
Cairn India has completed three dimensional seismic surveys of its block in the Mannar Basin and is interpreting the data to find the best sites for test wells.
Cairn India was awarded the contract for oil exploration in block No.2 of the Mannar Basin and has signed a petroleum resources agreement with the government of Sri Lanka.
The company's Sri Lankan subsidiary Cairn Lanka has also called for bids to hire drilling rigs and logistic services to start exploratory drilling in early 2011.