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Iranian crude oil deal: US rep meets CPC chief

12 June 2015 12:49 am - 16     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Despite Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Kolonne denying any attempt to unload one million barrels of Iranian crude oil in the Colombo Port, a White House-nominated US State Department envoy met Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Chairman Ranjith Wickremasingha to discuss this matter, the Daily Mirror learns.

He told Daily Mirror that he had met a US embassy delegation to explain the alleged attempt at unloading one million barrels of Iranian crude oil worth Rs.7 billion carried to Colombo on Liberian registered oil tanker F WHALE at a time Iran was under a US-led international embargo was in force.

"I had a fruitful discussion this morning with US Embassy's acting economic counselor Mathew Lowe who has been sent directly from the White House. I was accompanied by Economic Adviser Manohari Dharmadasa. I explained in detail the circumstances surrounding the oil tanker and the CPC's action to strictly adhere to the accepted procedure and the refusal to permit the unloading of fuel at the Colombo Port. They were fully satisfied with the explanation," Mr. Wickramasingha said yesterday.

Despite a Abu Dhabi broker pressuring the CPC to allow the fuel consignment to be unloaded at the Colombo Port, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has clearly instructed the CPC to avoid purchasing fuel outside the accepted procedure," he said.

Mr. Wickramasingha said the Sapugaskanda oil refinery had stopped using Iranian light crude because 45% of the refined output was furnace oil, but what the CPC wanted was 100% diesel because the need for furnace oil had decreased with a reduced demand for thermal power in the wake of phasing out the purchase of thermal power by the CEB.

The US embassy in a letter to the Power and Energy Ministry Secretary B.M.S. Batagoda said Sri Lanka was committed to comply with US sanctions on Iran and had given an undertaking that Sri Lanka would not purchase Iranian fuel but there was a concern that at least some of the Iranian fuel might be unloaded in Sri Lanka. The US wanted appropriate action taken by the CPC to prevent any Iranian crude oil being unloaded at the Colombo Port.

"We are aware that the US embassy in Colombo has drawn informed the CPC of the suspicious movement of the oil tanker F WHALE but we will fully abide with the US sanctions on Iran and therefore the matter of allowing any such fuel being unloaded in the Colombo Port does not arise," Mr. Wickramasingha stressed.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Lakdasa Fernando said the tanker F WHALE was not allowed to enter the port remained outside.

"The Liberian-registered oil tanker F WHALE stayed outside the 12 mile radius of the Port. Sri Lankan authorities are not aware of the whereabouts of the tanker right now," Mr. Fernando said.

The US Charge d’ Affaires informed the CPC that the Liberian flagged vessel F WHALE was suspected to carry Iranian oil and on the way to Colombo. The vessel had failed to comply with annual safety and other requirement and was no longer registered under the Liberian or Panamanian flag.

The US embassy alleged that despite instructions, the CPC had reportedly purchased a consignment of Iranian crude oil and some one million barrels were being transported on board this vessel.

The best example to prove that Sri Lanka fully complied with the US embargo on Iran is a loan of US$25 million still to be settled for a transaction with Iran which took place before the embargo. (Sandun A Jayasekera)

  Comments - 16

  • SL Friday, 12 June 2015 08:56 AM

    Yes sir yea sir three bags of fools sir!

    Harry Friday, 12 June 2015 09:07 AM

    Why the concerned ministers and FM is dumb?

    Shehan Friday, 12 June 2015 03:31 PM

    You are talking a load of crap!

    lkboy Friday, 12 June 2015 09:30 AM

    Leaving aside the US pressure, issues surrounding this tanker cannot be ignored. seems there are many aspects in this story.

    Asrar Friday, 12 June 2015 04:08 PM

    If its US embargo tell them not to buy , Its not international embargo for SL to commit anything . this is what happened when you go behind west you will be told what to do , but they (west) run behind Chinese Money who are already our best friend

    Jameel Friday, 12 June 2015 10:27 AM

    He h eh eh eh .YAHAPAALANAYA? ;-(

    Rabok Friday, 12 June 2015 05:18 PM

    Shehan - Crap or no Crap - facts are correct - Americans hypocrisy - nobody should take them seriously

    Yan Friday, 12 June 2015 10:34 AM

    If you want Iranian oil, go and live in Iran....

    Rabok Friday, 12 June 2015 10:59 AM

    Why the hell US State Department decide from which country we are going to buy our crude oil - Are they funding all our crude oil shipments - Mr Ponnil - without putting your tail behind you leg - tell Americans to F..k Off These Americans are funny - They are mobilizing more than 400 police personnel to find two criminals (who had brutally killed one person each) escaped from their max security prison - when their former and current Presidents who apparently caused the killing of many innocent civilians are free in the country - and police provide them state protection - At the same time FBI is after FIFA for corruption when many multinational like Monsanto, are openly bribing every government institutions in US and in other countries - but FBI do not here them or see them

    Silpa Saturday, 13 June 2015 03:11 AM

    Who run the country.

    Paul Friday, 12 June 2015 06:31 PM

    Whether u give your back to china or u.s.a, all same.

    harsha Friday, 12 June 2015 06:39 PM

    Yes Sri will do ...

    podda Saturday, 13 June 2015 12:09 PM

    One has to observe international agreements.

    Nims Friday, 12 June 2015 07:07 AM

    Ask US to provide us with cheap crude oil. Ask them to ????? if they are unable to

    John Friday, 12 June 2015 12:05 PM

    ...did SL sign the agreement in the first place?

    Metteyya_Brahmana Friday, 12 June 2015 08:02 AM

    No country should be allowed to DICTATE to another country what ships can dock or not dock in its ports or what country they can buy oil from, as this is a GROSS infringement on the sovereignty and independence of nations.


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