Oil Search

Jan 31, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is evaluating bids for offshore oil exploration in the island’s north-east from firms in Cyprus and India, petroleum minister A H M Fowzie said. The island has put three exploration bids on offer in the Mannar basin area. The bids closed today.

ONGC Videsh and Cairn India from India and Niko Resources from Cyprus had submitted bids.

Fowzie said the bids were being evaluated and the process may take around four months.

In addition to the blocks already on offer the government was also planning to sell other oil blocks more towards the north of the island.

In December the petroleum ministry told Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers that oil firms had expressed interest in exploring in the areas which was closer to the Cauvery basin where India has already discovered oil and gas.

Oil companies will be invited to explore both on land in the northern part of Sri Lanka and in offshore waters off the island’s northwestern, northern and north-eastern offshore areas.