After prolific oil discoveries in India, Cairn India today said it has made a second natural gas discovery in the offshore Mannar Basin of Sri Lanka.
"Cairn Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cairn India, has notified the appropriate authorities in the government of Sri Lanka of a gas discovery in the CLPL-Barracuda-1G/1 well, located in Block SL 2007-01-001, Mannar Basin, Sri Lanka," the company said in a press statement here.
This is the second well in a three-well frontier basin programme. Cairn Lanka is the operator and has a 100% participating interest in the block.
The company had on October 2 announced a gas discovery in the very first well it drilled in the block. "A gross 25 metres hydrocarbon column" was tested in the CLPL-Dorado-91H/1z well, drilled in a water depth of 1,354 metres.
"The (CLPL-Barracuda-1G/1) well was drilled to a total depth of 4,741 metres in a water depth of 1,509 metres and encountered 24 metres of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone," Cairn said today.
It said the reservoirs are predominantly gas bearing, with some additional liquid hydrocarbon potential. "Cairn will evaluate the well results and work with appropriate authorities to determine the commercial potential of this discovery," the statement said.
CLPL-Dorado-91H/1z well was the first well to be drilled in Sri Lanka in 30 years and the first well to discover hydrocarbons in the country.
The CLPL-Barracuda-1G/1 well is the second successive discovery, located 38 kilometres (km) West of the CLPL-Dorado-91H/1z discovery well and approximately 68 km from the Sri Lankan coastline.
"An update on the well results will be provided after the end of the programme, which is expected to be complete by early next year," the statement said.
BSE-listed Cairn had in 2004 made India's biggest oil discovery in more than two decades in Rajasthan. It currently produces 125,000 barrels of oil per day from the Mangala oilfield in Rajasthan.
Cairn India is the target of a $9 billion takeover by London-listed mining group Vedanta Resources. Vedanta is buying 40% of UK-based Cairn Energy Plc's stake in Cairn India.
The Sri Lanka block is the only overseas property Cairn India currently has. It has 10 oil and gas blocks in India.
The Mannar Basin in Sri Lanka is a frontier petroleum province that is yet to be fully explored. Block SL 2007-01-001 was awarded to Cairn in a 2008 Sri Lanka bid round.