Lanka to offer oil exploration blocks

Sri Lanka plans to offer offshore blocks for oil exploration by the middle of 2006 if a study being carried out by a Norwegian company proves positive.

    The Norwegian survey covers some 4000sq km

    Norway's TGS-Nopec Geophysical Co is likely to submit its report by June, The Daily Mirror reported on Tuesday.


    The paper quoted Saliya Wickremasooriya, the chairman of the Board of Investment, saying that the country must make serious efforts to explore oil reserves if it wants to maintain economic growth.


    The Sri Lankan government has been keen on pushing ahead with its oil exploration plans to reduce its dependence on crude oil imports.


    The Norwegian company conducted an initial survey in 2001 off Sri Lanka's northwestern coast to assess offshore oil prospects, and the results showed evidence of small reserves.


    The current survey covers about 4000sq km off Sri Lanka's northwest coast.



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