New Sri Lanka seismic survey ahead of 2019 oil exploration bid round

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lankan government Monday began a new seismic survey for oil and gas deposits in the Mannar Basin off the west coast ahead of a new exploration licensing round in 2019, Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Arjuna Ranatunga said.

A Chinese seismic vessel, BGP Pioneer, is doing the survey after having completed surveys off the eastern and north-eastern coasts, he told a news conference.

The vessel was originally  chartered by Eastern Echo DMCC, a unit of oil services group Schlumberger, to do a seismic survey for Total in the JS 5 and 6 exploration blocks off the east coast, Ranatunga said.

“We managed to get funding from oil companies for the new exploration surveys, with the Sri Lankan government spending money,” he said.

“The ship finished the survey off east coast and is now deployed in the Mannar Basin. It will take about six months to interpret data and identify oil bearing deposits. Then we will call for global tenders for exploration in 2019. It is only if we have good data, we can attract oil companies.”

Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) Director General Vajira  Dassanayaka said the other survey in Cauvery Basin finished two weeks ago and the data was sent to Schlumberger’s technical centre in Malaysia for processing which will take about five months.
(COLOMBO, 23 Octber, 2018)

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