India and Singapore have shown interest in exploring for oil and gas in the Mannar Basin. Saliya Wickramasuriya, former Director General of the Petroleum Resource Development Secretariat said that eight foreign companies have put forward expressions of interest on 8 of the 13 blocks in the Mannar Basin.
Wickramasuriya said that if successful, Sri Lanka will stand to benefit. The Sri Lankan government invited expressions of interest for partners to undertake the appraisal and development of gas discoveries and prospects in the 2,924-sq km offshore (ex-Cairn SL 2007-01-001, aka block 2) block M2 in the Mannar Basin. In 2015 Cairn India announced its withdrawal from Mannar Basin natural gas exploration following the global petroleum price slump.
Extensive data has been collected from seismic surveys and previously drilled wells in the Cauvery basin.