Published on: January 6, 2022
SRI LANKA OIL TANK DEAL
Sri Lanka Cabinet clears oil tank deal with India to jointly develop Trincomalee oil tank farms
About Trincomalee oil field
- The facility, built by the British around World War II as a refueling station, has 99 storage tanks that look like giant wells.
- They have a capacity of 12,000 kilolitres each.
- Eighty-four of those are in the 800-acre Upper Tank Farm (UTF). For a good part of a century now, these tanks have remained unused, shrouded in a forest.
- The Lower Tank Farm (LTF) has 16 tanks, spread across 50 acres.
- A talking point in Indo-Lanka relations since 1987.
- Indian Oil Corporation set up Lanka IOC, its Sri Lankan subsidiary in2003
- The agreement remained dormant for years, until the Sirisena- Wickremesinghe administration tried revisiting it through the 2017 MoU.
Significance of Trincomalee
- Home to 3.7 lakh Muslim, Tamil and Sinhala people and Trincomalee, in Sri Lanka’s post-war years.
- Emerged as a favorite destination for surfers from around the world, gradually transforming with plush resorts and restaurants dotting its coast.
- Potential transit point for international trade routes, particularly drawing India which has known strategic interests there.
- Important counterbalance to the southern Hambantota Port backed substantially by China.