Mannar oil search to begin this year
Oil exploration in the Mannar basin is to commence within this year,
with the Government awarding one of the blocks earmarked in the
North-Western sea to an Indian investor.
Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development Minister A.H.M. Fowzie
said Cairns India, the offeree of the first block in the Mannar project,
is expected to launch its activities in August, while the selection
process for the remaining two blocks for which tenders were called is
"Three companies have already submitted bids for Block No. 2, while
Block No. 3 has received one bid. All bidders are countries like the
Netherlands, United States and India," he said, adding that the
successful bidders will be picked shortly with Cabinet approval.
According to the Minister, the agreement between the Government and
Cairns India for the exploration of oil in Block No.1 will be signed at
the end of this month or in the first week of July.
The company is expected to invest over US $ 10 million on exploring
oil deposits in the block which covers over 3,000 square kilometres.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian team of geologists have carried out surveys in
the Southern territorial waters on the possibility of finding oil
resources in the sea off Hambantota.
"The team was sent to Sri Lanka following a request to the Egyptian
Government to assist oil exploration in Sri Lanka. At the conclusion of
the survey, the team submitted a report to us containing
recommendations," Fowzie said.
OPEC daily prices rise over US$ 130 for first time
The average daily oil prices of the Organisation of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Monday hit the historic high of 130.87
U.S. dollars per barrel (dpb), the Vienna-based cartel said Tuesday. The
prices once retreated back to 118.56 dpb last Wednesday and rose to
118.77 dpb last Thursday.