Friday, December 11, 2009

Cairn to pump $110 mn into Lanka oil hunt

For the first time, a ship chartered by an Indian company is hunting for oil in Sri Lankan waters, with Cairn Lanka Pvt Ltd - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cairn India
- starting seismic survey in the Mannar basin at an investment of $110 million.

In a related development, Cairn India will also merge oil and gas businesses of some of its subsidiaries with itself with a view to improving administrative efficiencies. The company's four subsidiaries -- Cairn Energy India, Cairn Energy India West BV, Cairn Energy Cambay BV and Cairn Energy Gujarat BV -- will merge their Indian oil and gas businesses with Cairn India.

In Sri Lanka, Cairn will survey Block SL 2007-01-001. The acreage was awarded to Cairn India in an auction held in 2008. The block lies offshore northwest Sri Lanka, with water depths ranging from 400 to 1,900 metres. A Cairn India statement said it expects to complete data acquisition by first quarter of 2010 and complete processing the data mid-2010. Drilling, based on the interpreted data and subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to commence in the first half of 2011.

Cairn has chartered the survey vessel, Veritas, from Norwegian firm CGG. The statement quoted Cairn Lanka director Indrajit Banerjee as describing the survey as the "first 3D seismic acquisition programme'' in Sri Lanka. "While there are no guarantees of success when exploring a frontier area such as the Mannar basin, the block is under-explored and we are encouraged by the studies we have conducted to date,'' the statement quoted him as saying.

© Times of India

Related Links:
SLanka signs Petroleum Resources Agreement with Indian company - Colombo Page
Cairn launches Sri Lanka Mannar basin seismic - Oil & Gas Journal
India's Cairn starts oil hunt in the Mannar Basin - Daily Mirror
Indian vessel arrives in the island for oil research in Sri Lanka - SLBC

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