Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 21 February 2010





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Russia to join gas and oil exploration

Russia will soon join Sri Lankaís oil and gas exploration work which will be launched in the islandís Mannar gulf area.

Petroleum potential in Sri Lanka.

A team of Russian gas and oil experts will arrive in Sri Lanka in the middle of March to hold further discussions with the Sri Lanka government, said Power and Energy, Petroleum and Petroleum Development Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando.

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his recent visit to Russia sought their support for oil and gas exploration in Sri Lankan seas.

The Secretary said that a Russian team of gas and oil experts visited Sri Lanka at the request of Sri Lanka Government prior to the Sri Lanka Presidentís recent visit to Russia. The Sri Lanka President had talks with the chief executive of Gazprom the Russian Gas and Oil Company in Moscow, Alexei Miller who agreed to provide Russian support for the exploration program.

Three areas in the Sri Lanka seas, namely Mannar Basin, Cauvery Basin and Southern Basin, have been identified for potential oil and gas deposits below sea bed through sedimentary and scientific research done by International research firms.

Accordingly the Mannar Basin was blocked out into 9 blocks. The block MZ was set apart for an India - based British company Cairn Lanka Private Ltd, while blocks MI and M8 were allocated to Indian and Chinese governments. In this regard the Sri Lanka government held a series of discussions with the Indian and Chinese governments during the past months to reach agreement on the work to be undertaken, the Secretary said.

In an exclusive interview with Sunday Observer on the current situation of the oil and gas exploration activities handled by Cairn Lanka Pvt Ltd, the Director General, Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat - PRDS - Dr. Neil De. Silva said that Cairn Lanka has completed collecting 3D seismic data - and is in the process of selecting sub contractors for drilling exploratory wells ďCairn Lanka Private Ltd (CLP) is the operator of the off shore SL 2007-01-001-M2 contract area. The contract area lies in the Gulf of Mannar off the North Western Coast of Sri Lanka. CLP is planning to commence exploration drilling work of three firm wells and two optional wells from January 2011 to May 2011.

Dr. De Silva said the CLP which was engaged in oil and gas exploration activities during the last 17 months has systematically completed collecting seismic data. The French firm CGG Veritas was awarded a sub contract by Cairn Lanka to collect 2 Dimensional and 3 Dimensional seismic data.

CGG Veritas Viking II survey vessel was in the deep seas with its 35-40 research crew including French, Indians and Sri Lankans during last December and January to collect seismic data, he said.

He said that Cairn Lanka Ltd already hired a number of Sri Lankan and international companies for exploration and drilling activities so as to complete the contract before October 2011.

A remarkable feature of the last 17 months operations was that the oil exploration and production of petroleum resources were carried out by Cairn Lanka using good oil field practices, paying maximum attention for the safety of the workers and equipment, protection of the environment and conservation of resources, he said.


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