Sri Lanka is now in the process of properly determining the oil and gas reservoir potential in the Mannar basin by drilling one or two wells following the discovery of gas in two of the three test wells by Cairn Lanka, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cairn India in which Cairn UK has a minority holding, a top official said. Cairn is now conducting more seismic surveys in preparation to drill a few more wells for this purpose, Director General of the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat Saliya Wickramasuriya told Business times.
The finding of gas in two wells has confirmed an active petroleum system in the
Mannar Basin. This system now needs to be modeled further, to better understand the location, size and deliverability of the reservoirs in it. This will require substantially more seismic and drilling activity, he revealed.
Sri Lanka will call for bids for shallow water blocks in the Mannar Basin from oil exploration companies and at least one block will be offered for drilling soon, he said adding that an international licensing round for some of the remaining eight blocks is to be launched within the next three months
Mr. Wickremasooriya noted that the discovery of gas in Sri Lanka has created an opportunity for the island to step into the field of safety training which is an essential requirement for the highly regulated oil industry.
Under this set a project proposal on the setting up of a regional safety training centre relating to oil and gas industry with public private partnership has been devised, he said. The Sri Lankan government will provide the land for the building and other facilities, he said. "We will have to find foreign funding for the project," he added.