Releasing its latest annual report Cairn India yesterday said it was considering options to appraise, develop and monetize two successful hydrocarbon deposits on Sri Lanka’s side of the Mannar Basin.
Following the success of Phase-I exploration resulting in two gas discoveries — CLPL-Dorado-91H/1z and CLPL-Barracuda-1G/1— Cairn completed drilling of a fourth exploration well as part of the Phase-II exploration programme, the company told shareholders in its 2012/13 annual report.
"The well encountered high quality reservoir sands, which were water bearing. Consequently the well was plugged and abandoned, and the rig demobilised. Cairn is considering options to appraise, develop and monetise the two discoveries," it said.
Earlier this year the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) opened the country’s second round of bidding for petroleum exploration licenses for 13 blocks located in Sri Lanka’s side of the Mannar Basin and Cauvery basins with roadshows in Houston, London and Singapore. Several other blocks in the east and south waters of the country are on offer for joint studies as well.
Some of the world’s top oil exploration companies have already shown interest in Sri Lanka, especially after two encouraging discoveries by Cairn in the Mannar Basin. Total and Exxon Mobil have recently purchased Sri Lanka’s seismic data set, and ENI, BP, OVL, PVEP, and several other international majors are in discussion with the Government on potential future operations in Sri Lanka.
The final deadline for bids is September 30, 2013. Evaluation of these bids commences on October and the PRDS hopes to notify the winners then. Negotiations for the Petroleum Resources Agreements would commence thereafter in November, and the PRDS hopes to sign agreements by the first quarter of 2014.
The PRDS said Cairn’s fourth exploratory well was compromised after the drill ship temporarily lost its bearings.