ONGC may get blocks in Sri Lanka

Friday, 18 February 2011 04:25 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

MUMBAI (Reuters): The Sri Lankan Government could award three hydrocarbon blocks in its northern offshore area to the overseas unit of Indian State explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp, the Mint newspaper reported on Thursday.

“We are working in the Kaveri and Mannar basin and had submitted our proposal earlier to the Sri Lankan government. We want these blocks on a nomination basis,” an unnamed senior ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) official told the paper. OVL officials could not be reached for comment. A team from OVL will visit Sri Lanka soon, the paper said.

“We are interested in these blocks, but talks are at a very preliminary stage and we have to wait for the OVL team’s report,” the paper quoted an unnamed Foreign Ministry official as saying. India is the world’s fourth-largest oil importer, buying about 80 per cent of its crude needs. It is scouting for oil and gas assets abroad to meet growing demand in an economy growing at 8.5 per cent, and to feed its expanding refining capacity.