Cablegate: Imi Sri Lanka Oil Exploration Opportunities

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: IMI Sri Lanka Oil Exploration Opportunities

1. Summary: The Government of Sri Lanka is planning to
open offshore areas off the western coast of Sri Lanka
for oil exploration in the first quarter of 2005.
Private companies will be awarded exploration licenses
for 8-9 plots through a competitive bidding process.
End Summary.

2. Exploration drilling in the shallow waters north of
Sri Lanka, performed in the early '80s, showed potential
for hydrocarbons. More recently, in 2001, the
Australian subsidiary of a Norwegian firm, TGS Nopec,
carried out a preliminary seismic survey in the same
area, which also showed good potential. The company
will undertake a comprehensive seismic survey on a non-
exclusive basis in December 2004. Data from these
studies will be made available to interested oil
companies for a fee.

3. To facilitate oil exploration, the Government has
recently enacted a Petroleum Resources Act. The
Government is expected to finalize petroleum operation
regulations under the new Act soon. Model production
sharing contracts are already available for public
scrutiny from the Ministry of Power and Energy.

4. The government is planning to open offshore areas
off the western coast of Sri Lanka for oil exploration.
Private companies will be awarded exploration licenses
for 8-9 plots through a competitive bidding process.
The Government plans to announce a licensing round in
the first quarter of 2005. It has already held road
shows in Texas and London to promote oil exploration.
These opportunities will be promoted again at the
International Exposition and Seventy Fourth Annual
Meeting of the Society for Exploration Geophysicists
(SEG) in Denver, Colorado in
October 2004.

5. US companies can contact the following GSL agency
for information regarding oil exploration opportunities:
Ministry of Power and Energy
80 Flower Road
Colombo 7
Sri Lanka.
Phone: 94-11- 2564-476 Fax: 94-11-2564-354
Contact person: Mr. Titus Jayawardena
Director General, Petroleum Resources.


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