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* Does Sri Lanka have petroleum? Cairn to answer in first quarter 2012
Sat, Aug 20, 2011, 01:49 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 20, Colombo: A senior official of Cairn Lanka engaged in petroleum exploration in the Mannar basin of northwestern sea of Sri Lanka has said that the Company could exactly announce whether Sri Lanka has petroleum deposits by the first quarter of the next year.

The official has told the state-owned Dinamina newspaper that the company has commenced petroleum exploration at three places in Mannar basin.

He also has said that Sri Lanka would be a rich country if petroleum is found.

Cairn commenced drilling for oil in the Mannar basin early this month.

Cairn has said earlier If Sri Lanka's drilling program is successful then commercial oil production can be expected by 2014 with a billion barrels.

The Block SL 2007-01-001 was awarded to Cairn in the 2008 Sri Lanka bid round. Cairn Lanka (Private) Limited, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cairn India and holds a 100% participating interest in the Mannar block.

Mannar basin has eight oil and gas exploration blocks and two of them have been granted to China and India. Officials of Russia's largest oil company, Gazprom recently visited Sri Lanka to hold discussions on oil exploration in the Mannar Basin.

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