Sri Lanka natural gas could displace oil in transport sector

COLOMBO, Oct 01, 2014 (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka is considering how natural gas found in the offshore Mannar Basin could be used in the transport sector, the biggest consumer of imported petroleum, an official said.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is used in other countries like India to power vehicles and Sri Lanka is also studying the prospect, Saliya Wickramasuriya, Director General of the Petroleum Resources Petroleum Resources said.

"We anticipate a doubling of transport requirements in 10 years," he told a forum organized by the Shippers’ Academy Colombo on the country’s offshore resources.

"Now transport is the biggest oil consumer. So fuel imports are set to balloon."

Cairn India has struck gas in two well drilled in the Mannar Basin off the west coast and is negotiating with the government on price before starting commercial production which is expected to be by 2018.

With Sri Lanka now having excess grid-supplied electricity with the commissioning of Chinese-built coal-fired thermal power plants, natural gas produced offshore could be used for transportation.

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