14 March 2011

One Billion Barrels of Oil in Sri Lanka Mannar Basin - Director General of Sri Lanka's Petroleum Resources

14th March 2011, www.dailymirror.lk

The Director General of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Neil De Silva has said that the Mannar Basin could hold over 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

Cairn Lanka which is expected to commence oil drilling in the Mannar Basin by July this year, believes there is more work to be done in the frontier basin to assess the magnitude of resources.

“If Sri Lanka’s drilling program is successful, commercial oil production can be expected by 2014 with a billion barrels,” a recent report on Cairn India’s Oil drilling future quoted Dr. Neil De Silva as saying.

The report said that Cairn India has contracted a deepwater rig from Japan Drilling to embark on a three-well exploration drilling campaign in its frontier deepwater block in Sri Lanka’s Mannar basin (SL-2007-01-001) in June 2011. The exploration area is 3000 sq km with water depths ranging from 400 metres to 1900 metres.

Cairn Lanka, a subsidiary of Cairn India had signed the Petroleum Resource Agreement (PRA) with the Sri Lankan government in July 2008 to explore oil and natural gas in the Mannar Basin with an investment of US $110 million, spread over three years.

According to the Agreement, Cairn will start exploration activities in one of the 8 blocks in the Mannar Basin and the company will conducted a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as required by the Sri Lanka Central Environmental Authority and Marine Pollution Prevention Authority. Earlier in 2010, the company had also acquired 3D seismic data on 1,750 km2 area of the Mannar basin.

Mannar basin’s two oil blocks have been granted to China and India. Russia’s largest oil company, Gazprom also has indicated plans to join the exploration of offshore oil in Sri Lanka’s Mannar basin.

Related Info :

Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) - Petroleum Potential Offshore Sri Lanka

Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) - Exploration History

Cairn to Start Drilling for Oil & Gas off Sri Lanka’s Northwestern Coast in July

Sri Lanka Oil Exploration in Mannar Basin on Schedule. Tenders for more Blocks by End January


  1. Oil Exploration in Sri Lanka could be the answer to all our economic problems if properly and professionally managed. If not, it could turn out to be Sri Lanka's biggest scourge.

  2. "if properly and professionally managed. If not, it could turn out to be Sri Lanka's biggest scourge"
    I like this comment. We want this to be professionally managed and not politically. The decision makers should work in a corruption free environment. This is very unlikely. With the problems in Japans Nuclear plants and the OIL price going up the drilling should be beneficial to the country. Will all the benefits reach the public of the country or few individuals or the foreigners?
    We do not want another OIL disaster at home like in the US recently by BP.

  3. Attn: Kanage Gnana,

    Thanks for your comment. I cannot agree with you more as you have correctly pointed out real concerns regarding the proper handling of oil industry. Sunil


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