Oil firms submit several proposals
Offshore surveys in Mannar, Cauvery basins:
International companies specialising in hydrocarbon exploration have
submitted several proposals to do surveys in the offshore Mannar and
Cauvery basins to acquire data about the potential for oil and gas
deposits, Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS), Director
General Saliya Wickramasuriya said.
The proposals are in addition to an agreement signed by the PRDS with
French oil major, Total SA, for exploration in two blocks off the east
Wickramasuriya said acquisition of data about reservoir prospects in
offshore blocks is important for the government to attract the interest
of multinational petroleum companies for further exploration.
“Without new data, a third bid round would raise little interest,”
Wickramasuriya told the Business Observer. “In addition to the seismic
data Total SA will acquire off the east coast, we have received several
proposals from well-known specialist companies to conduct various types
of data acquisition in the Mannar and Cauvery basins.”
Wickramasuriya said the government will not need to pay for any of
these services, but will license the provider to acquire the data, give
the PRDS a copy, and then sell sets to multiple interested oil
This business model is called ‘multi-client’ and is very common
worldwide, he added.
Total SA hopes to start a deep water seismic survey in the third or
fourth quarter of this year, Wickramasuriya said. The French firm, which
entered into an agreement for exploration in the east coast blocks JS5
and JS6, is in talks with the top two seismic service providers who
responded to their request for proposals for the surveys.
In the last bid round, the bid from Cairn India lapsed as they have
given up work in the Mannar Basin after a change of ownership. But Bona
Vista from Singapore, which made the other two bids, has said it is
committed to maintain its original work programs.