Sri Lanka’s draft national policy to develop natural gas sector

A draft national policy on LNG has been developed by the Ministry of Highways & Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development, with the primary aim of establishing and developing the natural gas sector in Sri Lanka.

To further improve the policy, the ministry along with the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka has invited comments – written and oral – relating to the draft from experts, stakeholders and the public.

According to the draft national policy, the natural gas sector offers many positive prospects for the country, and there is substantial evidence that Sri Lanka can reap major economic, social and environmental benefits from using natural gas as a source of energy.

Natural gas reportedly can be used efficiently in the industrial, commercial, household, power and transport sectors.

However, the drawback is that Sri Lanka has no prior experience when it comes to natural gas.

Therefore, the draft national policy outlines the country’s need to facilitate the exploration and production of natural gas, use natural gas as a source of energy and raw material, and import and export LNG.

The policy also necessitates the establishment of a legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the natural gas sector in Sri Lanka.

Natural gas in Sri Lanka was first discovered in 2011, in the Mannar basin.

Exploratory drillings have chanced upon reservoir capacities in excess of one trillion cubic feet of natural gas.