ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka has reopened tenders for the M2 off-shore block in the Mannar Basin for fossil fuel development and discovery in January, the Petroleum Resources
Development Secretariat said.
The M2 block has two discovered natural gas wells 'Dorado' and 'Barracuda' and further drilling prospects.
"Bidders are expected to consider both development of the discoveries and the exploration of the rest of the M2 block," PRDS said in its request for bids announcement.
Bids will close on May 07, 2019.
The two wells in the M2 block were discovered by Indian oil firm Cairn in 2011, when it made four drillings at a cost of 240 million US dollars, after winning a bidding round in 2007.
The company then abandoned international operations during the shale oil boom in 2015, returning the two wells to the Sri Lankan government.
The two wells are estimated to have two trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 10 million barrels of condensate, the PRDS has said.
Following government inquiries in 2017 and 2018, 12 international petroleum companies had shown interest in the two wells.
Developing the wells and infrastructure to make the natural gas available for domestic power generation, an investment of around a billion dollars will be needed, PRDS has said in the past.
It has said that the 9 blocks in the Mannar Basin alone could have the potential of an additional 5 billion barrels of oil and 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas which would be sufficient for Sri Lanka’s energy needs for the next 60 years.
Bids for the other 8 blocks in the North Western and Western Mannar Basin and 5 blocks in the Northern Cauvery Basin are also expected to be open soon.
Currently the Sri Lankan government and France's Total have launched a joint study for blocks off the country's east coast. (Colombo/Jan17/2019)