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Wednesday, 30 January 2013






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Cairn Lanka to drill on fourth oil well next week

Cairn Lanka (Private) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cairn India, would start drilling on the fourth oil well (second stage) near Kalpitiya from February 1.

Dr. Sunil Bharati, Director of Cairn India, said that the success obtained from the first three oil wells in the Manner deeps sea, prompted them to go in for the drilling of the fourth oil well.

Dr. Sunil Bharati

“After a second round of drilling and surveys as part of its second phase operations, we will decide on the commercial viability of the findings by the mid-year,” he added.

He said that a special drill ship, ‘Discoverer Seven Seas’ capable of operating in a depth of up to 6,500 feet is already in the location.

He said that he was optimistic concerning the future of their operations in Sri Lanka, as they had already found Hydro Carbon in two wells, a substance which generates natural gas and oil.

He said that looking back, he was also happy with the support received from the government and all other stakeholders.

The Block SL 2007-01-001 was awarded to Cairn Lanka in the bid round held in 2008.

This deep-water offshore block is located in the Gulf of Mannar, with a water depth ranging from 400 to 1,900 metres.

Post acquisition and interpretation of 600 sq km 3D seismic data during Phase two exploration period in Block SL 2007-01-001; exploration drilling was initially planned for mid 2013.

However, due to early rig availability and excellent logistical preparations, the drilling date has now advanced by a quarter. The preparations for Phase II drilling activity is now complete.

The first phase of the programme in 2011 resulted in two successive gas and condensate discoveries. Cairn Lanka’s successful drilling programme, the first in Sri Lanka in 30 years, established for the first time a working petroleum system in the Mannar Basin.

He said that their initial commitment to the Sri Lankan operations had been US$ 110 million.

“However, we had invested a further US$ 40 million up to last final year. This year we would make further investments,” he said.

The Mannar Basin has eight oil and gas exploration blocks and two of them have been granted to China and India.

Officials of Russia’s largest oil company, Gazprom, recently visited Sri Lanka to hold discussions on oil exploration in the Mannar Basin.



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