India to play key role in oil quest
India will be a key player in the Sri Lankan oil and gas exploration
in the Cauvery Bay of the Gulf of Mannar which is set to begin in March
As many as 18 oil and 11 gas reserves have been identified on the
Indian side of Cauvery Bay and exploration will begin in March next
year,Infomation and Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said.
Experts estimate the sites may contain millions of barrels of crude
oil for which both India and China are competing for overseas oil and
gas reserves to meet soaring energy demand.
The international arm of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, OVL
Ltd, paid one million dollars to Norwegian seismic survey group - TGS
NOPEC- a few weeks ago for acquiring data in the Mannar Offshore Basin
in Sri Lanka, according to Sri Lankan petroleum ministry officials.
The Mannar Basin, located between southwestern Sri Lanka and Indian
coastline in water depths ranging from 50 metres to more than 3,000
metres, lies to the south of Cauvery Basin in Indian waters - known for
both oil and gas production.
Sri Lanka currently, relies on imports to meet all of its crude oil
demand of around 42,000 barrels a day and fifty per cent of its products
demand of about 70,000 barrels a day.
Sri Lanka had offered to give OVL 5,000 to 6,000 sq km of exploration
area in the Mannar Offshore Basin on a nomination basis.
This is in lieu of assistance in training their professionals and
assisting them in demarcation of the exploration and production (E&P)
blocks. One block was also offered to China on nomination basis.
Sri Lanka has eight exploration blocks in the Mannar basin, three of
which are up for tender and one each already offered to China and India.
The decision on the rest of the blocks will be taken later.