Total Nears Sri Lanka Study Contract for Deepwater Oilfields

July 25, 2013

Bloomberg reports that Total SA may win a contract from the Sri Lankan government in a month to study the prospect of oil and natural gas deposits deep off the island’s fabled white-sand beaches.

Eni SpA (ENI) of Italy has also expressed strong interest in the blocks located in waters more than two miles deep, said Saliya Wickramasuriya, director general at the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat, which will give the contracts. Talks are on with Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), which have yet to evince interest, he said.

“We have six very large blocks, with very sparse data, that we’re offering on a joint-study basis,” Wickramasuriya said in a phone interview from Colombo. “Apart from the hydrocarbon potential, which is the ultimate objective, it’s also a mechanism for Sri Lankan companies to gain experience.”

Copyright: Bloomberg, 2013.