Dharmendra Pradhan meets Sri Lankan Minister for Petroleum Resources Development
New Delhi: Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, met with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mr Chandima Weerakkody, Minister of Petroleum Resources Development in New Delhi today.
During the meeting, both the Ministers discussed various Indian proposals, including joint development of Upper Tank Farm by Lanka IOC (LIOC) in Trincomalee; setting up of LNG terminal at Kerawalapitiya, near Colombo by Petronet LNG Ltd; setting up of City Gas Distribution network by GAIL and use of CNG in the automotive sector of Sri Lanka. Government of Sri Lanka is working towards promoting the use of clean fuel in Sri Lanka, including for power generation. Shri Pradhan said that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has offered to work with the Government of Sri Lanka in developing gas infrastructure in Sri Lanka. He further added that the Indian companies had engaged a reputed consultant for assessing LNG demand and are developing related infrastructure in Sri Lanka; the report would be shared with Sri Lanka shortly.
Mr Weerakkody welcomed India’s cooperation in this regard. He said that though India’s gas based business and infrastructure is only 20 year old, it has the requisite experience and expertise in the sector and is ready to share with Sri Lanka.
Shri Pradhan also discussed LIOC activities in Sri Lanka, including increasing the number of its Retail Outlets and bunkering operations and granting license to LIOC for marketing ATF and LPG. Both the sides also discussed refurbishment of Sapugaskanda refinery and possibility of setting up of a refinery in Sri Lanka as a joint venture to address the local needs. India also offered to assist Sri Lanka in building oil and gas pipeline networks in Sri Lanka.
Both Ministers exchanged notes on the E&P activities in Sri Lankan Mannar basin. Shri Pradhan said that ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and its parent company ONGC had the expertise and knowledge of the geological conditions that exist in the Cauvery basin. He said that these conditions are similar to Mannar basin in Sri Lanka and, hence, OVL could be a natural partner in carrying out E&P activities in this area.
Shri Pradhan expressed India’s commitment to work with Sri Lanka to develop Trincomalee as a regional energy hub. Both the petroleum Ministers discussed on the possibility of creating SAARC Energy Initiative to create sub-regional hydrocarbon infrastructure, particularly gas network, to fuel our economies in a sustainable manner. Cooperation in bio-fuel sector was also discussed, including training of Sri Lankan professionals in India in the sector.