Oil exploration attracts investors at Singapore investment forum

The Maldives has garnered interest in oil exploration during an investment forum in Singapore.

Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. Mohamed Shainee, told Minivan News at least one investor will be visiting the Maldives in the coming weeks to present their company profile and discuss the project further.

Over 160 companies and nearly 200 representatives from 16 countries were present at the first overseas investor forum organised by the Maldives.

Speaking at the event on Friday, Shainee assured potential investors that there was no room to refute the presence of oil in the Maldives based on seismic testing by Royal Dutch Shell.

“Those studies were carried out 25 to 27 years ago, with limited technology capable of investigating under sea. However, now we have better technology that is more capable of more exploration,” he said.

Oil has been found in both Sri Lanka and India and therefore there is a high possibility that it will be found in Maldives too, he added.

Lying just a meter above sea level, the Maldives is among the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts such as sea level rise, ocean acidification and extreme weather events.

Crude oil will diversify and stabilise the economy, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has said. At present, the Maldives heavily relies on tourism, which supports an estimated 70 – 80 percent of its GDP.

However, some have argued that economic benefits will not outweigh the possible environmental repercussions.

“When you take up the issues of drilling, we are concerned about the oil container tanks with unrefined fuel passing through,” concluded Executive Director of local NGO Bluepeace Ali Rilwan. “We can’t afford to go into that dirty energy.”

With this in mind, Rilwan asked, “can we avoid a disaster in the Maldives? The Maldives is a tiny island and this can have a very negative impact, the tanks are a worrying thing.”

In addition to oil exploration, the government is seeking investment in establishing a port in northern Ihavandhippolhu Atoll, land reclamation and maritime seaport in Hulhumalé, expansion of the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) and the relocation and expansion of the central port to Thilafushi Island.

The projects for which the government was seeking investors were “designed to position Maldives to take advantage of its strategic location as a hub and gateway for commerce, innovation and creativity, linking rest of the globe with South Asia,” President Yameen said in his keynote address.

“To address investment climate and to facilitate mega investments with attractive incentive packages, a Special Economic Zone Bill will be tabled in the parliament soon. Additionally, the Foreign Investment Act and Companies Act are being revised to cater the ever increasing needs of the modern foreign investors,” he added.

Meanwhile, a Singaporean court is currently overseeing the arbitration process between the Maldives government and Indian infrastructure giant GMR in which the company has claimed US$ 1.4 billion for the abrupt termination of a concession agreement to develop the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).


10 thoughts on “Oil exploration attracts investors at Singapore investment forum”

  1. Oil: Just because oil has been found in India and Sri Lanka doesn't necessarily indicated the presence of any oil near the Maldives. India and Sri Lanka are both part of the vast Asian continental shelf. If one looks at the geological reasons for the formation of oil, one would understand that the presence of significant amounts of oil in the Maldives rather remote.

    I hope Shainee didn't say to investors in Singapore that Shell didn't have the right technology for undersea oil exploration 25 years ago! That is such a ridiculous argument. Major oil companies including Shell have been pumping vast quantities of oil from deep sea wells for well over 40 years.

    Whilst seismology has advanced in the last 25 years, you can't "dig" oil from where it never was in the first place!

  2. at the moment, we have 4 people in mordis, who have more money that the government and the rest of the people.

    Wonder what would happen if we actually find oil.

    Gasim, Koli, Champaa are already salivating like rabid pit bulls. The best thing is they are competing against each other; if the government gives oils exploration lease to Champaa, in north, they also have to give Gasim two wells' down south.

    Otherwise, its will be back to square one, with Dheenatakaa, for the religion and for the sake of the world, the government will be toppled.

  3. The ruins of 30 yrs isn't enuf,nw u want to destroy the sea and corals to exploring for oil, our fish is enuf is as well the tourism, u r just join to kill the natural resources as u all kill 3 generations of ths country with ur 30yrs..

  4. When people say that oil cannot be found in Maldives and at the same time OBJECT to oil exploration, it's funny

    Why are people scared of environmental damage if there will be NO oil?

  5. ... Reading the comments here it's actually clear that the nay sayers do believe that oil can be found in Maldives but are SCARED that it can be found while the other party government in power

    It's a good example of hypocracy Maldives is infected with. When Adaalth is in coalition with MDP they are seen as moderates. With PPM they are camels. Giving airport to GMR by MDP without a national debate is a sign of dynamism. But when PPM does similar things (and they do) people cry foul for lacking transparency

    The hypocrisy is infinite

  6. BP and the United States government can't even keep massive oil spills from happening. How do you think the Maldives government and some shady Chinese or Arab oil contractor will do here? If they actually find oil, kiss tourism good bye. People generally don't like to swim in oil slicks when paying thousands of dollars for their holiday. And we all know how good this country is with following safety, environmental and maintenance regulations. It would only be at matter of time before an oil spill did massive damage to the (extremely delicate) environment and in turn the tourism industry.

    On the other hand, if there was a large supply of oil found here. Maldives could focus on oil export, eliminate resorts/tourism and become the image of their Arab heroes. A dark, dirty and miserable country where the women stay at home covered in burkas while the men take holidays to cmb, kl, dubai, etc. to get their prostitutes and booze. Finally eliminating the evil influence of the West and focusing on those "Islamic" values followed so closely by their brothers in Saudi. Could be good times ahead for Maldivians!

  7. It does sounds fantastic to achieve parity with the Arab sheikhs. BUT, oil finds in India are few and concentrated in northern portions of Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea - far away from Maldives. Even those are gas findings not oil. Most Lankan findings are commercially unviable. Most importantly if their were actual prospects around Maldives there would be hordes of big oil names doing circles by now.

  8. Vow. 30 years was 100 times better than Nasheed 3 years time.

    @andrew. you are reminded that no matter what happens , GMR has no place in Maldives and you guys can only dream.

    Yameen is not stupid idiot like Nasheed and he does not bullshit like Nasheed.

    If Yameen succeeds in finding the oil or Natural Gas , the country will be taken to next level in a short term.

    No one is saying that we have huge oil reserves but there is a credible information that we might have a decent amount of oils reserves in this country and we will continue to explore the possibility.

  9. Hero,i think you have been properly abused by GM Rao when you were a kid.The hatred you have for that poor fellow is pathetic.What do you know about GMR and for that matter about the contract,you have never seen it,never read it,but still you knopw so much about the contract,wasnt that what Azima and Yameen saying all these days.Probably you learnt more from the mouth of Loafun Abulho,Imran and DhiTv about GMR.Can you please guide me to a single line of evidence put forward by the authorities regarding the massive billion dollar corruption which you are so sure about.As far as we know according to ACC and auditor general there was no corruption (ofcourse their photo was updside down on DHITV).Yameen is not a stupid man,but one thing we for sure know is that his home minister was publicly selling yameen on the pavements of Male as a drug lord.Boy you can go on giving blow jobs to the like of maumoon ( a mglomaniac dictator who plundered the wealth of this nation,who sent back a genereation of kids into the abysmal depths of heroine,who deliberately concentrated a good third of the population into a four square kilometer glorified slum called Male)Probably your kind,the kind who are of formerly TEAM,now of a big manager will be a great admirier of this very man called maumoon.Its no wander their were admiriers of gazzafi,polpot,saddam and mugabe(maumoons best friends).Yameen the master economist,is a hype you,Nihan and adhurey only believes,the intellentsia of this country knows who they are and what they did to this country

  10. Hero.yamin and his brother took back this country to the next level,that is the lowest level a human can sink,been an addict of heroine.You believe so


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