Government Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday that the US must come up with a scheme to avoid harming friendly countries by its embargo on Iran -- or compensate them.
CPC managing director L.T.Susantha de Silva said that the US embargo on Sri Lanka’s main crude oil supplier Iran had taken its toll on Sri Lanka’s fuel sector, and hectic negotiations had already been started with other sources to fill the void created by the loss of crude from Iran.
While assuring the citizenry that every effort was being made to preclude a fuel shortage during the next two weeks if the country’s oil refinery at Sapugaskanda had to be closed due to lack of crude from Iran, Mr. de Silva said that every effort had been made to purchase crude from other sources.
However, the most suitable crude oil for the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery (SOR) is the light crude from Iran.
We will have difficulty in obtaining crude oil for the SOR only during the next two weeks. Steps have been taken to ensure a steady supply of crude oil from Saudi Arabia and Oman in November and December, said Mr. de Silva.
He said the CPC had ample stocks of fuel to prevent a shortage, and added that they intended to do some repairs at the SOR if it was temporarily closed down due to the lack of crude.
The SOR’s annual requirement is 14 consignments of 135,000 metric tons each of light crude imported from Iran. Sri Lanka had had to reduce the quantity of crude oil imported from Iran, from March 2011, due to the US embargo. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)