Sri Lanka is scheduled to drill its first oil well in the north western Mannar basin in the first quarter of 2011, a senior government minister said.
Susil Premajayanth, minister of Petroleum Industries told reporters that the drilling is being handled by Indian based Cairn Lanka Private Limited.
Premajayanth said the drilling will first take place in the first three lots of the Mannar basin which had completed the seismic studies.
“The first, second and third stages of oil drilling would take three, two and three years respectively and the entire project would be completed in eight years,” Premajayanth said.
He said tenders are now open for the exploration of oil in northern and southern seas and the rest of the Mannar basin.
The total cost of the project would be 172 million U.S. dollars, while the initial stage would cost 112 million dollars, said the minister.
He said the second and third phases will cost 25 million dollars and 35 million dollars respectively.
The investigation of petroleum resources in Sri Lankan waters started in 2007 in the Mannar Basin. The preliminary studies identified eight deep sea plots to be drilled for oil. Source: Xinhua