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Developing natural gas; contract to be signed

The government has received several proposals to develop natural gas found in the block M2 of the Mannar basin and a contract would probably be signed at the end of this year, said D. T. K. Preeni Withanage, Director Benefits at the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat.


Studies conducted so far had shown that there was a potential reservoir capacity in excess of one trillion cubic feet in two sites, Dorado and Barracuda, of the M2 Block, Withanage said.


“Of the two discoveries, 300 billion cubic feet of natural gas is situated within the smaller, simpler, Dorado reservoir, which lends itself to early production after appraisal. The larger Barracuda discovery that is in excess of 500 billion cubic feet needs further appraisal built with extensive reservoir studies and evaluation for optimal production design.”


Withanage said that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) was planning a 600 MW power plant to run on natural gas and if that works out they can pump this directly into the systems and generate power. “However it will take three to four years for us to extract this,” she said.


Director General of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), Damitha Kumarasinghe said that once Sri Lanka was able to secure natural gas from the Mannar basin, it would be the most cost effective and secure source of energy for the country.

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