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Fri, 21 November 2014 20:57:34
Sri Lanka sounds India on oil fields straddling boundary
11 Jun, 2010 18:14:52
June 11, 2010 (LBO) - Sri Lanka is seeking Indian support in finding and exploiting offshore petroleum deposits in the Gulf of Mannar that might extend to waters of both neighbours across their maritime boundary.
The matter was revealed in a joint statement by the two countries at the end of a visit to India by Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa who held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"Sri Lanka proposed discussions on establishing a joint information mechanism on the possibility of oil and gas fields straddling the India-Sri Lanka maritime boundary," it said.

"The Prime Minister of India assured the President of Sri Lanka that this proposal would receive the Government of India’s attention and the matter could be discussed further between the two sides."

Rajapaksa was in India during June 8-11 and signed several agreements to get Indian aid for the island's post-war development.

Sri Lanka had earlier offered India an offshore oil exploration block in the Mannar Basin.

Cairn India is searching for oil in a block in the Mannar waters and intends to do test drills next year.

Hopes of finding oil in Sri Lankan waters of the Gulf of Mannar have been raised with India striking oil across the maritime boundary.

With the underwater geology similar, it is possible that oil and gas fields could extend beyond the maritime boundary.
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