Sri Lankan Mannar Basin Bid Round
On 1 May 2007, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development launched the Mannar Basin Bid Round to initiate oil exploration in Sri Lanka's north-western coast.
Sri Lanka has divided the offshore Mannar Basin into eight blocks; two of which have been reserved for future allocation to Indian and Chinese state-owned oil companies. Three blocks were offered in this round and the remaining three will be offered at a later stage. Roadshows for the licensing round were held in London, Houston and Kuala Lumpur.
Six bids were submitted by the deadline in 31 January 2008 mainly by Niko Resources (Cyprus), ONGC Videsh and Cairn India. Only one block, SL-2007-01-1, which attracted bids from all three bidders, was awarded to Cairn India Ltd on 5 June 2008. The Petroleum Resources Agreement would be signed in due course.
|Mannar Basin 2007 Licensing Round|
|SL-2007-01-1||3||Cairn India Ltd., ONGC Videsh Ltd., Niko Resources (Cyprus) Ltd.|
|SL-2007-01-2||2||Cairn India Ltd., Niko Resources (Cyprus) Ltd.|
|SL-2007-01-3||1||Niko Resources (Cyprus) Ltd.|
Map: Showing blocks awarded in Mannar Basin Licensing Round 2007 (red shading) Source: PetroView
Oil and gas exploration began in Sri Lanka in 1967 when Compaigne General de Geophysicque (CGG), on behalf of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC or Ceypetco), acquired the first offshore seismic reflection survey. Wells in the regions were drilled in the period between 1974 and 1981. Although hydrocarbons shows were encountered as the result of drilling, no commercial exploitation had occurred.
Exploration efforts to date have focused on the onshore and shallow-water Cauvery Basin resulting in the discovery of oil and gas fields. The hydrocarbon source is attributed to lacustrine and restricted marine shales of possibly Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous age deposited in a syn-rift asymmetrical graben. Additional Turonian source rocks related to maximum condensed sedimentation also exist.
The Mannar Basin is under-explored with only four exploration and three stratigraphic wells drilled all of which are situated on the north-eastern shallow continental shelf of Sri Lanka. No deep-water drilling has occurred to date. Seeps reported in the basin indicate the presence of an active petroleum system with expected source rocks similar to those found in the Cauvery Basin.
Seismic data acquisition programmes were conducted across the greater area of Mannar Basin in 2001 and 2005. Subsequent studies performed on the data acquired indicate areas of significant potential with large scale structural, stratigraphic and structural/stratigraphic trapping styles and a potential hydrocarbon source that is believed to be presently at peak oil generation in the basin. Comparisons have been made not only with systems such as those encountered in the Cauvery and Krishna Godavari Basins in India but other international regions such as offshore southeast Brazil, the Gulf of Suez, Nile Delta and East Kalimantan.
Recent successes in nearby basins in India have reinvigorated interest in offshore Sri Lanka. This was further justified by the results obtained from recent seismic acquisition programmes in the Mannar Basin in 2001 and 2005.
Source: Website of Sri Lanka Mannar License Round 2007
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