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French company to explore oil, gas in Sri Lanka

2017-01-02 05:20 人气:

COLOMBO, May 19 (Xinhua) -- A French multinational oil and gas consortium is to jointly explore with Sri Lanka's government for petroleum resources in the island state's strategic north and eastern seas, local media reported on Monday.

The exploration for oil and gas is to happen in the seas east of the northern region extending southwards through much of the eastern coastal belt of the Indian Ocean island.

For this purpose, the Petroleum Resources Development Committee (PRDC) which functions under President Mahinda Rajapaksa, intends to enter into a Joint Study Agreement with Total E & P Activities Petrolieres of Paris, reported the local Sunday Times.

The French multinational integrated oil and natural gas company is identified as one of "six majors" in the world in terms of revenue.

The firm responded to a call for proposals by the Sri Lankan government to determine 'hydrocarbon potential of ultra-deep offshore blocks' of Sri Lanka's waters that are not covered by current licensing rounds.

"In the event of confirmation of hydrocarbon potential, President Rajapaksa has told his ministers, the French company would submit a proposal and negotiate with the government for a Petroleum Resources Agreement," the newspaper reported.

Rajapaksa has said the French multinational would be wholly responsible to meet the cost for the Joint Study Program.

Two gas wells have already been found by India's Cairn after explorations off the north western shore of Sri Lanka.

The company announced in July last year they were discussing with the Sri Lankan government regarding commercial terms and gas pricing.

In 2008 Cairn India began the first exploration for oil and gas in post-war Sri Lanka unearthing two gas wells in 2011.

However, the financial validity of the gas wells is yet to be publicly announced.

China, India, Russia and Vietnam are among the countries that have expressed interests in bidding for exploration in Sri Lanka's territorial waters.