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Monday, September 10, 2012 - 6.04 GMT

Cairn to begin second phase of oil exploration in first quarter of 2013


Following the successful completion of the first phase oil exploration in Sri Lanka's Mannar basin, Cairn India, has announced that it prepares to enter the second phase in the first quarter of 2013.

After a second round of drilling and surveys as part of its second phase operations, the company will decide on the commercial viability of the findings by the mid-year, a company official has told Reuters.

The Chairman of Cairn India at the company's sixth AGM last month said the innovative geological studies aided by 3D seismic data led to two discoveries in the frontier Mannar basin off Sri Lanka. These were the first ever discoveries in the country which has helped establish a new hydrocarbon province.

The company has now entered the second phase of exploration and intends to commence the next exploration drilling campaign in mid-2013, he said.

The first phase of the exploration programme involved the acquisition, processing and interpretation of 1,753 sq km of 3D seismic data and the drilling of three well deep water wells.

In Phase One Cairn successfully discovered two successive gas and condensate deposits in the wells CLPLDorado-91H/1z well and, the CLPL-Barracuda-1G/1 well in the offshore Block SL 2007-01-001 in the Mannar Basin of Sri Lanka.

The third well, CLPL-Dorado North 1-82K/1 as been plugged and abandoned as a dry hole on 14th December, 2011.

Sunil Bharati, Cairn India's head of corporate affairs and communications, has told the Reuters that the company would drill a fourth well in a second phase of exploration in the first quarter of 2013 and it will play a very decisive role in the overall commercial study as well as evaluating whether the discoveries are commercial.

The discoveries made in the phase one at Barracuda and Dorado were not commercially viable if taken individually but combined them with several discoveries then the project will becomes commercial, the official has said.

The SL 2007-01-001, located in the Gulf of Mannar with water depths ranging from 400 to 1,900m, was awarded to Cairn Lanka in the bid round held in 2008. The Company holds a 100% participating interest in the block.

Mannar basin has eight oil and gas exploration blocks and two of them have been granted to China and India. Officials of Russia's largest oil company, Gazprom recently visited Sri Lanka to hold discussions on oil exploration in the Mannar Basin.






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Last modified: September 10, 2012.

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