The data was sold by Norwegian seismic company TGS Nopec, hired by Sri Lanka in 2002 to carry out seismic surveys around the island’s territorial waters.
"TGS Nopec has sold data to Oil and Natural Gas Corp and to British Gas for a value of two million dollars," A H M Fowzie, minister of petroleum, told journalists on Wednesday.
The government will however be terminating the agreement with TGS Nopec in November, on payment of 10.5 million dollars in compensation.
"TGS Nopec has agreed to a compensation of 10.5 million dollars. They have got two million dollars of this through selling data to two companies. The government will have pay the balance 8.5 million dollars before November 10 to terminate the agreement," Fowzie said.
With the agreement being terminated, the government takes over all seismic data available, selling it to interested investors ahead of offering blocks for oil exploration."The bidding round will take some time. We have to decide whether to do a next round of 3D seismic surveys ourselves or call for tenders with 3D surveys included."