Colombo: Cairn India, a unit of British exploration firm Cairn Energy Plc, plans to invest $100 million to explore oil and natural gas deposits off Sri Lanka’s coast, officials said today.
Sri Lanka, which imports all of its oil needs, offered three blocks to investors after seismic surveys showed oil deposits along the Gulf of Mannar close to India.
Block two, an area that covers around 3,400 square kilometres off Mannar was offered to Cairn in June after a competitive bidding process.
“We have taken the security aspect into consideration in our bid. And the government has told us that the area is out of danger,” said Indrajit Banerjee, CEO, Cairn India.
Petroleum Minister A H M Fowzie said the government will provide adequate security when Cairn’s project gets off the ground in six months.
Besides Cairn, ONGC Videsh and Canada’s Niko Resources bid to explore block two. Sri Lanka has already allocated two other blocks to the governments of India and China.