Embargo prevents SL importing Iranian crude

31 October 2012 10:40 pm - 16     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Although the United States has permitted Sri Lanka to import a restricted amount of crude oil from Iran, the embargo on the Iranian government-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) prevents such imports from Iran.

This has compelled the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) to temporarily shut down the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery (SOR).

Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha told Daily Mirror yesterday the US State Department had permitted the import of 10 consignments of 135,000 metric tonnes each of Iranian light crude. But he said this was not possible because of the US embargo, which was still in place.

“The total annual requirement of SOR is 14 consignments of 135,000 metric tonnes each supplied by Iran. After the US State Department enforced an oil embargo on Iran in June, we downsized the imports to 10 consignments with US approval. But we are unable to import even a drop of oil from Iran because of the embargo on National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC),” the minister said.

He said an oil tanker sent to Iran to bring a consignment of Iranian light crude last month had to return empty as NIOC was not permitted to load the cargo which led to the SOR shut down.

“Due to the US embargo we can’t obtain re-insurance and open LCs,” the minister said.

However, he hoped the CPC would be able to resume operations at the SOR after a consignment of crude oil from Oman arrives at the Colombo Port on November 8.

The minister said agreements had been signed with Saudi Arabia and Oman for the uninterrupted supply of crude oil for the next two to three months.

He said the CPC would give up spot buying and would sign contacts for long term bulk buying from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Oman.

“The priority will be given to state owned oil suppliers like ARAMCO so as to prevent malpractice,” the minister said and added that a dialogue had been initiated with the US State Department with the objective of relaxing the Iran embargo with regard to Sri Lanka in the same way that it was granted to Japan and China.

Meanwhile, the minister met visiting Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Abdulaziz Al Assaf last afternoon. The discussions would be mainly focused on Sri Lanka purchasing a bulk of its fuel requirements from the main oil producer in the world on a concessionary basis. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)
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  Comments - 16

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  • Impartial Guy Thursday, 01 November 2012 02:17 AM

    According to you US has relaxed the Iran embargo to Japan and China. You are trying to get the same relaxing to Sri Lanka. But I am sure you will fail,because Sri Lanka unlike Japan and China, acting like a thug with US. Even such a powerful country China has a good rapport with US. But Sri Lank always try to dictate terms with US. Sri Lanka is not a powerful country and also do not possess nuclear capability. Therefore Sri Lankan rulers must have a better rapport with US and other powerful and wealthy countries.

    Anti-fraud Thursday, 01 November 2012 02:24 AM

    Isn't all of this academic when the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery has been SHUT DOWN because of unbelievably poor maintenance and no crude OF ANY DESCRIPTION can be refined there?

    Rodney Thursday, 01 November 2012 10:19 AM

    Please ask Modawansa for an idea. Only people like him can help.

    thusi Thursday, 01 November 2012 03:41 AM

    You mean to say we didn't have a strategic plan for back up supplies for this critical national facility
    Even a fruit seller on street would plan for different scenarios in advance

    Don Quixote Thursday, 01 November 2012 04:03 AM

    Find an excuse and stop the import of oil for a few months, this is the best way to solve the balance of payments problem - A -LA-Rajapaksa !

    The grinding halt that the Country will come to is pre-determined anyway.

    Big Ears Thursday, 01 November 2012 03:59 AM

    I can not understand to why a oil tanker was sent and came back empty. This adds to the losses of the Petroleum Corporation. The result of poor administration and no planing. They were singing the war song and it is now out of date. Now it is Number 13 and the impeachment. This is how Sri Lanka is governed now. At least stop the stupid pavement construction mentality and buckle down to some work employing suitably qualified people and now white van drivers.

    prasad Thursday, 01 November 2012 04:01 AM

    Sadly it is the case..... !!

    Pray US should get more Sandy(s) and have more issues internally than messing up internationally.... !! banga wewa!!

    raj Thursday, 01 November 2012 05:00 AM

    They only have strategic plan to oppress the opposition.

    Calistus Jayatilleke Thursday, 01 November 2012 05:57 AM

    High time we send Minister Weerawansa to issue a threat to the USA and get them to lift this embargo in full. Sovereign nations should not suffer this sort of insults from the Imperialists.

    R.Dias Thursday, 01 November 2012 06:03 AM

    why what about our friends...China ..Russia..?

    HaBus Thursday, 01 November 2012 07:30 AM

    You seem to have a lot of knowledge on world politics and economy !

    HaBus Thursday, 01 November 2012 07:30 AM

    Cost of transport is high mate !

    Hussain Thursday, 01 November 2012 06:20 PM

    # prasad. You could pray all you want. But the USA is the one and only super power in the world. No one dare go against it. Your wishful thinking , that there be more storms and internal problems in the USA does nothing. Its like spitting against the wind, its lands on your own face. Instead of stupidity. educate yourself. That would be a better proposition for the likes of you.

    political illiterate Thursday, 01 November 2012 12:50 AM

    Very soon fast in front of the US embassy

    Saradial Thursday, 01 November 2012 01:31 AM

    I wondering if Sri Lanka colony of USA

    Fair N Square Thursday, 01 November 2012 01:50 AM

    Why Oman and Saudi? someone gets commission? TRY Venezuela, it gives poor Americans FREE furnace oil... so when they are told about the embargo coz of US demands, bet they will oblige BUT our Petroleum Importing entity doesn't want to seek better options... It's all about who gets what and paid commissions


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