Sri Lanka launches search for offshore oil and natural gas resources 

Following cabinet approval received in February, the Sri Lankan government entered into an agreement with Bell Geospace to explore for offshore oil and gas deposits in the Mannar basin at a signing event held recently.

The agreement was signed by Minister of Highways, Higher Education and Investment Promotion Kabir Hashim, who represented the Sri Lankan government, and General Manager of Bell Geospace John McFarlane.

The project entails several activities including airborne gravity, gravity gradiometry and magnetic surveys to be conducted over the seacoast of Sri Lanka to explore the possibility of mineral gasfields, which are supposedly situated around the Cauvery basin off the northern peninsula and the Mannar basin off the west coast of the island.

Bell Geospace employs a range of techniques to detect these resources. One such technique exploits magnetic anomalies in the Earth’s magnetic field to search for petroleum and mineral deposits below the surface. Exploration using gravity and magnetic techniques is said to provide the benefit of faster detection of deposits and tend to provide more precise locations for drilling.

Furthermore, the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) of Sri Lanka has identified several blocks for offshore oil exploration, and the government has called for international competitive bids for blocks M1 and C1.