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* Sri Lanka to start second round of bidding for oil blocks
Mon, Feb 18, 2013, 02:19 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka plans to launch the second round of bidding for the oil blocks in the Mannar Basin off Sri Lanka's northwest coast at a conference on energy in Houston, Texas.

The bids for the oil blocks will be announced at the IHS CERAWeek 2013 in Houston on March 07, and the announcement will be followed by a road show, Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat Chairman Saliya Wickramasuriya has said in an interview with Daily Mirror.

The Secretariat has informed around 25 oil companies of the launch last Wednesday (13) and many of the companies have shown interest.

The road show will be in London from March 11th to 15th and in Singapore from March 18 to 22.

According to Wickramasuriya, up to 10 offshore blocks would be awarded in the second bidding round.

Cairn Lanka, a subsidiary of Cairn India bought the only block awarded in the first round. Cairn had explored three oil wells in the block in phase one and found petroleum residues in two of them. Exploration on a fourth well is about to start this month after a third well found to be unproductive and plugged in December 2011.

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