Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  

India's Videsh to drill gas, oil in Sri Lanka

India's state-owned Oil and Gas Corporation Videsh Ltd. has announced that it will explore for oil and gas in Sri Lanka's Mannar basin very soon.

The ONGC Videsh Ltd said the company's own experience in India's Kaveri basin would help them to explore oil and gas in the neighboring Sri Lanka.

It has been speculated by geologists that the same Kaveri oil deposit string also runs beneath Sri Lanka's Mannar bay.

In the 1960's Soviet explorers attempted to dig wells in the area unsuccessfully. The not so advanced technology then is believed to have prevented the Soviets from hitting the black gold in Sri Lanka, four decades ago.

India's overseas arm of exploration, ONGC Videsh Ltd. said it is now looking to buy assets in Sri Lanka for exploration of oil and gas.

R.S. Butola, Chairman and Managing Director of the ONGC Videsh Ltd. said his corporation has already procured seismic data that indicate potential oil deposits from the Norwegian company that had done seismic surveys around the Sri Lankan coast.

ONGC Videsh said that it had proposed to Sri Lanka that it would share its experience in the sector for developing data and other activities in the exploration and production of gas and oil.