Following India’s Cairns pulling out of off-shore gas exploration activities recently, another international tender would be called for in October for gas exploration in the Mannar Basin, said Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka while speaking at a function in Colombo.
Cairn India which claimed it had discovered natural gas deposits off the shores of Mannar pulled out from the explorations recently.
Cairn India stated that since crude oil prices were falling in the world market and the increasing pressure on the company it had decided that the natural gas exploration activities off the shores of Mannar was not a priority.
In July 2008 Sri Lanka entered into an agreement with Cairns India for off-shore oil explorations within one block of the Mannar Basin.
Minister Champika Ranawaka also said that all the power generation plants of the Ceylon Electricity Board being run on diesel and similar fuel would be converted to run on natural gas.
Meanwhile, the Indian media reports that the globally diversified natural resources company Vedanta Resources, with interests in zinc, lead, silver, copper, iron Ore, aluminium, power, oil and gas and of which Cairns India is a subsidiary, is believed to be in the final stages of announcing a merger of Cairn India with itself. The move will give the parent company access to Cairn’s cash and help reduce debt.