Evaluation of two oil blocks delayed
The evaluation of bids for two of the three blocks on offer for offshore oil and gas exploration in the Mannar Basin will be delayed, officials said. Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development A.H.M. Fowzie said they have decided only to evaluate one block where there is a competition of three, for the moment.
He told The Sunday Times FT that the decision was taken three weeks ago to evaluate tenders for only Block No. 1 in which three companies submitted bids. Fowzie also said that the offers for the other two blocks will be considered at a later date and that the Ministry has not decided on calling for fresh tenders.
So far, the three companies who have submitted bids for the blocks on offer are Nico Resources (Cyprus), Cairn India and Oil and Gas Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Videsh. All three have submitted bids for Block No. 1.
Fowzie said a report from the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) is expected shortly which will then be submitted to the Cabinet Appointed Negotiating Committee (CANC).
Fowzie said he hoped a decision will be taken by the end of this month and expects operations to commence in August 2008.
However, due to several delays involving 'suggestions and counter suggestions' from the various sitting committees, the Minister said he expects it might be sometime in September 2008. (NG)