Cairn India to inject $100 mln in Lanka's exploration acreage

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Colombo, Jul 7 (UNI) Cairn India, a subsidiary of the UK-based Cairn Energy, today said it will pump in 100 million dollars in the first phase of oil exploration in Sri Lanka's Mannar oil basin.

The company has signed a Petroleum Resources agreement here with the Sri Lankan government for exploration of the first of eight oil blocks available in the Mannar basin.

''Cairn India is delighted to be awarded the exploration licence by the Government of Sri Lanka. The Mannar basin has not been explored in Sri Lankan waters and as such represents a frontier petroleum province,'' company Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director Indrajit Banerjee said.

He said the company would invest about 100 million dollars in the first phase of exploration in Sri Lanka.

The agreement was signed between Mr Banerjee and Sri Lankan Minister for Petroleum and Petroleum Development Resources AHM Fowzie.

The Block SL 2007-01-001, which is offshore north west Sri Lanka and covers about 3,000 sq km in water depths of 200-1,800 metres, was awarded to Cairn India in the recent Sri Lanka bid round.

The work programme includes proposals to acquire 5,000 km of 2D, 1,000 sq km of 3D seismic and drill three wells in the initial three years of the eight-year exploration period.

Cairn Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cairn India, will hold a 100 per cent participating interest in the block.

UNI XC SBA BD1948

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