Petroleum exploration activities have begun in the eastern seas covering Trincomalee and Batticaloa under the instructions of Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Arjuna Ranatunga.

The government signed an agreement with Eastern Echo DMCC earlier this year to explore, collect, market and license petroleum data in certain offshore areas surrounding Sri Lanka. Eastern Echo DMCC is expected to invest US$ 50 million for the same. This agreement comes at no cost to the government.

A China made 3D streamer vessel, sailing under the flag of Panama, will acquire 5,000 line kilometres of two-dimensional seismic data in the JS5 and JS6 exploration blocks in the eastern Sri Lanka basin. The research vessel will collect data closer to the coast and in the deep sea as well. Fishermen have been asked to be cautious so as to not hinder the ship’s operations.