Sri Lanka oil exploration block to go to Bona Vista Energy: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers had given the nod to award an exploration block to Bona Vista Energy, a Singapore based firm despite a financial partner backing out due to delays, Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody said.

The bidding round closed in 2013 but no decision was made to award the tender and the financial partner in the consortium had pulled out, he said.

"But now even a Sri Lankan company with 49 million dollars can become a partner," Weerakkody told members of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Correspondents’ Association.

Oil exploration however is a costly business, Cairn Energy, which struck gas in in North Western Sri Lanka in the deep sea however did not develop the field, indicating that it was not viable with collapsing oil and gas prices.

The block awarded t Bona Vista, which is in the north is located in shallow waters, which may make exploration easier, Weerakkody said.

Petroleum prices are now low and liquid natural gas prices are unusually low at the moment. (Colombo/Sept19/2016)

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