Sri Lanka offers ONGC exploration block in Mannar

Sri Lanka today said it has offered one oil exploration block to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in Mannar near the Kaveri basin.

Sri Lanka has eight exploration blocks of which it has offered one to India and one to China and will allocate the rest of the six blocks in three months. Both the blocks are in Mannar (in the North West coast), closer to the Kaveri basin.

This was stated by A H M Fowzie, railways and transport, petroleum and petroleum resources minister, Sri Lanka, on the sidelines of Petrotech conference in New Delhi.

Earlier, Norwegian firm TGS Nopek was dealing with the blocks, but Sri Lanka bought the 2d data from the company for $10.5 million and has handed it to Australia''s Spectrum for interpretation. Colombo has sold two of the available data to ONGC and British Gas.

On downstream plans, Fowzie said the country was thinking of expanding its single refinery to 100,000 barrels per day capacity from the present 50,000 barrels per day.