Business

Petroleum Resources Bill to Parliament on 17 Aug.

The Petroleum Resources Bill is expected to be presented to Parliament on 17 August and to the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Energy on 18 August.

The relevant Bill will be open to the public from 27 July 2021.

Thereafter, the Petroleum Resources Bill is due to be passed in Parliament in early September. Once approved, the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat will become an authority, and the Petroleum Resources Advisory Council, as well as the National Oil and Gas Company, will be established.

The objective of establishing the Petroleum Development Authority in Sri Lanka, formulating a National Policy on the Petroleum Industry, and maximising the value of local petroleum resources through modern exploration, development, production, and management practices. 

Oil and gas deposits have been discovered on the seabed in Sri Lanka since the 1950s. At present, the Mannar Basin alone is estimated to have $ 240 billion worth of oil and gas resources. But even after nearly 70 years, it has not been possible to recover this great resource.

Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila paid close attention to this matter. One of the main reasons for the non-arrival of foreign investors to start petroleum production in the country was the lack of a legal framework to protect the investments of such investors and a national policy on the petroleum industry.

Accordingly, the Petroleum Resources Act will provide solutions to the above problems and attract and encourage investors to start the petroleum industry in Sri Lanka.