Sri Lanka to get Russian oil as fuel shortage persists

Sri Lanka to get Russian oil as fuel shortage persists

Russian oil is being supplied to Sri Lanka to produce fuel at its sole refinery as the bankrupt nation faces crippling shortages of everything from gasoline to diesel. 

The Russian grade of Siberian Light will be processed at Ceylon Petroleum Corp.’s refinery in Sapugaskanda,chairman Sumith Wijesinghe said in a phone interview. The country’s only refinery will restart for first time in over two months and produce fuel in six days, according to its power and energy minister in an earlier tweet.

Sri Lanka is the latest Asian nation to accept Russian crude after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine prompted widespread condemnation and sanctions. Most refiners in the US and across Europe have halted purchases from the Opec+ producer, prompting the cost of Russian oil to plummet, while opportunistic buying from Asian customers in China and India have surged.

The Sapugaskanda refinery is using Siberian Light crude, said Wijesinghe. It’s one of several grades of crude that our refinery can process, alongside Abu Dhabi’s Murban and Iranian light grades, he said. It’s still unclear how Sri Lanka will be paying for the shipment.

A cargo of Siberian Light onboard the vessel Nissos Delos has been sitting off Colombo for close to a month, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. The tanker had previously loaded crude from the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

Sri Lanka has been facing its worst financial crisis of the country’s independent history, with shortages of everything from food to oil. Fuel supplies are so low that the government told citizens not to queue for gasoline at filling stations. The nation has been trying to come up with cash to pay for oil that’s been sitting on tankers off its coast as its fuel crunch persists. (Courtesy Bloomberg)

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