13 Sep 2005

Solomon Islands to invite oil and gas explorers

7:46 pm on 13 September 2005

The Solomon Islands government believes the country has major reserves of oil and gas and it will soon be seeking international investors.

The Mining and Energy Minister, Basil Manelegua, says a survey in the 1970s and another more recently by the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, or SOPAC, indicate there are offshore oil and gas deposits.

He says these deposits are in the Shortland Basin, Guadalcanal's Iron Bottom Sound and between Isabel and Western Province, but it will be up to investors to determine whether it is economically viable to extract them.

"We have certain people approaching us on this investment. But one thing I want to work on is to do a framework on the legislation first. So that we can have a coherent and a conducive legislation in place for those who want to invest in these undertakings."