Situation: Oil Exploration in Maldives – What we know
President Yameen pledges to find oil in the Maldives!
Current government initiated a venture to explore oil in the Maldives.
Maldives National Oil Company (MNOC) has been established with a primary function to take direct responsibility for development of oil and gas industry processes in Maldives and overseas.
The government is also seeking international assistance for its oil exploration venture.
Invest Maldives, the government agency entrusted with promoting, regulating and licensing foreign investments in the country has said that the government is in possession of seismic data from earlier studies and plans to open up the Exclusive Economic Zone for interested partners to undertake more extensive exploration to locate potential oil and gas reserves along with the subsequent agreements for production.
The government has declined to give any substantial information keeping the initiative confidential.
A German research vessel “Sonne” carried out preliminary 3D seismic surveys back in August 2014, 100 nautical miles east of the region around Laamu and the Thaa Atoll.
Fisheries Minister Mohamed Shainee, reported that this search led to the discovery of hydrocarbon source rock. Norwegian and German companies specializing in crude oil exploration have been asked to assist with this analysis.
The State Trading Organization (STO), which is also the parent company of MNOC, is believed to be in talks with India’s Bharat Oil and Waste Management Ltd to support Maldives petroleum demand.
At the 18th SAARC Summit held in Kathmandu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated that India wished to assist Maldives in its search for oil reserves.
In December 2014 a high-level Maldivian delegation met with the Chinese to discuss major projects such as the Male’-Hulhule Bridge Project and Oil Exploration.
Fisheries Minister Dr. Shainee who was part of the delegation said discussions were to be held with two Chinese companies regarding exploring the possibility of discovering oil within Maldivian waters, and regarding obtaining oil at a lower price.