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 Post subject: India, China to pay $100 m each to secure Lankan oil blocks
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:17 am 
Lanka asks India, China to pay $100 m each to secure oil blocks for exploration

“Out of the eight identified oil blocks we have given one each to India and China on a ‘nomination basis’ due to the close friendship between the nations. We have also asked them to make a $10 million payment as security for securing the oil blocks without a competitive bidding process.”

@ PTI / Thursday, February 08, 2007

COLOMBO, FEB 7: Sri Lanka has asked India and China to place deposits of $100 million each for securing blocks to explore oil off the island’s north-western shores.

“Out of the eight identified oil blocks we have given one each to India and China on a ‘nomination basis’ due to the close friendship between the nations,” Sri Lankan petroleum minister AHM Fowzie said.

“We have also asked them to make a $10 million payment as security for securing the oil blocks without a competitive bidding process,” he said. The deposit of $100 million is in addition to the $10 million security fee.

On behalf of India, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has been awarded a block in the island’s northwestern Mannar basin, he said. Sri Lanka last year paid $10.5 million and bought the seismic surveys conducted by Norway’s TGS Nopec. It might be able to produce oil within the next three years if exploration efforts are successful, Fowzie said.

The Lankan government has already advertised its exploration plans to foreign firms at various international forums and set up the petroleum resource development ministry in 2005 to facilitate exploration efforts. Between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, overseas companies had explored areas offshore Sri Lanka but failed to find any oil and gas reserves.


—PTI


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