Sri Lanka, India talks on sharing offshore oil, maritime border

Nov 27, 2010 (LBO) – India and Sri Lanka are to hold talks soon on sharing offshore petroleum resources straddling their maritime boundary and resolving conflicting claims to the continental shelf, an official said. A meeting of officials of the two neighbours is to be convened “at an early date”, said a statement at the end of the seventh session of the Indo-Lanka joint commission, a forum to discuss economic and political issues, Friday.

“Among the issues taken up at the joint commission were claims to the continental shelf and exploration for oil and gas resources straddling the maritime boundary,” Sri Lankan foreign minister Gamini Pieris told a news conference.

He co-chaired the talks with visiting Indian foreign minister S M Krishna.

“Bilateral discussions to come to a mutually acceptable and beneficial settlement would be useful,” the joint statement issued by the Indian high commission said.

Claims of the two countries on extending their continental shelf margin have been submitted to the United Nations with some overlap in certain areas.

The statement also said the Joint Commission agreed that Indian companies would be encouraged to participate actively in future oil and gas explora