Cairn India Ltd. is poised to make history in Sri Lanka with first production from the country's offshore gas fields starting as early as 2016. The oil and gas industry is watching this development with interest as Sri Lanka prepares for the commencement of indigenous gas production. Upstream companies are also looking at potential offshore hydrocarbon prospects which would be offered in the first quarter of next year.
Cairn, until now more focused on producing from onshore fields in India, said it was engaging Sri Lankan authority on appraisal planning and commercial discussion relating to its first two offshore discoveries – the Dorado and Barracuda fields in the Mannar Basin.
“We continue to engage in appraisal planning and commercial discussions with the Sri Lankan government for monetizing the discovered gas resources and have recently secured an extension to the current exploration phase to April 2014,” said Karunakaran Hari, head of commercial, based in the company’s Gurgaon office in India.
“In the wake of Cairn’s success in the Mannar Basin, the Sri Lankan Government is currently conducting a bid round for other exploration blocks in the surrounding area,” he said.
Drilling Success in Sri Lanka
In 2007, Cairn took one of the three blocks under Sri Lanka’s first round of concession offer, and made the Dorado and Barracuda discoveries.
Cairn broke ground in Sri Lanka with two gas discoveries out of the four exploration wells drilled under phase 1 and 2 in its concession.
The gross proved and probable hydrocarbons initially in place in the Sri Lanka block was 74 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) as at March 31, according to Cairn. The Dorado discovery is up for development with first gas officially expected in 2017-18 while Barracuda is being further assessed. But industry observers expected Dorado gas in 2016, with the field set to become a benchmark for future hydrocarbon developments amid intense competition for investments from other prolific basins in the region.
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