Apr 12, Colombo: Sri Lanka will call for bids in May for the development of natural gas deposits discovered in the Mannar basin off the northwestern coast and for exploration of additional deposits.
The Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat has taken action to initiate the awareness activities, paying attention to call for small scale bids for the development of natural gas deposits discovered, at present and call for formal bids for the implementation of exploration activities, a statement on cabinet decisions said.
The bid round to explore the additional deposits in the natural gas deposit discovered from the block of land called M2 in the Mannar basin, is due to be announced in May 2018.
Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Arjuna Ranatunga has presented the information pertaining to action and plans for expediting the exploration and production activities of Petroleum in Sri Lanka to the Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday.
Even though, the petroleum exploration activities in Sri Lanka have been moving forward at a slow pace during the past three years due to the negative growth trends of the global petroleum and natural gas excavation industry, Sri Lanka has been able to conduct off-shore exploration activities uninterruptedly with much vigor to achieve the local market needs, the statement said.
It has been planned to enter into Agreements with selected companies for the petroleum exploration activities in the Eastern coastal line and the shallow sea area in Sri Lanka and it is also expected to focus on petroleum exploration in the land area of Sri Lanka.
Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne said with global oil prices rising, the government is keen to revive and fast-track the search for petroleum resources in the island country.
In 2013, Cairn India, one of the leading independent exploration and production companies globally, made gas discoveries in two of the four exploration wells it was awarded. It successfully discovered two successive gas and condensate deposits in the wells Dorado and Barracuda in the offshore Block SL 2007-01-001 in the Mannar Basin.
However, in 2015 Cairn, which was optimistic about its Mannar basin block and was planning to begin gas production from the block by 2017-18, decided to exit from its oil exploration operations in Sri Lanka due to slump in revenues following the drop in global oil prices.