Cairn India hopes to commence exploration drilling in 2011

 Cairn Lanka has commenced a metocean study to gauge weather and sea current patterns on Sri Lanka’s side of the Mannar basin in preparation for drilling three oil exploration wells scheduled for late 2011.

"Cairn Lanka Private Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of Cairn India, acquired a 1750 km2 3D seismic survey data in the Mannar Basin in Sri Lanka between December 2009 and January 2010, The Mannar basin is an under-explored frontier petroleum province, virtually un-explored in Sri Lanka with both structural and stratigraphic plays. The programme fulfils the commitment of 1,450 km2 of 3D seismic data acquisition," Cairn India said in its recent annual report for the financial year ended March 31.

"The 3D seismic data is currently being processed. A detailed Metocean study has recently commenced in preparation for the Exploration drilling of three wells planned to commence in Q2 CY 2011," it said.

Cairn India was awarded the first oil exploration license to explore for commercially viable hydrocarbon deposits by the government. There are several other locations in the Mannar Basin and also in waters off the North coast of the country that have been identified as possible locations of hydrocarbon deposits.

Cairn India’s investment in Cairn Lanka is about US$ 110 million.

Several Sri Lankan corporates have also shown keen interest in providing support services to the oil exploration company, among them Colombo Dock Yard PLC and Hayleys.

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