Indian Signal

Jan 15, 2009 (LBO) – India’s state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) which has been given an off-shore oil block in Sri Lanka, will inform the island whether it will start exploration within a month, a media report said. India’s Economic Times newspaper said Sri Lanka’s oil minister A H M Fowzie had met Indian oil minister Murli Deora and ONGC chairman RS Sharma after attending a petroleum conference in New Delhi.

“I had raised this matter with the minister and ONGC chairman, who have promised to get back in a month,” Econonic Times quoted Fowzie as saying.

China was also assigned a block off the northwestern Mannar area on a government-to-government basis.

ONGC has also found a ‘signature bonus’ of 13 million dollars ‘large’ the report said.

Fowzie had said it could be negotiated.

Cairn India, a private firm, also won a block on an open bidding round.

Cairn has already set up a Sri Lankan unit and completed the preliminary documentation with the government.