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Feb-14-2012 17:06printcomments

Premature to Talk about an Exemption for Sri Lanka to Buy Oil from Iran USA

Sri Lanka’s sole refinery is only able to refine Iranian crude oil and the Saudi Arabian light.

SL's sole refinery in Sapugaskanda
SL's sole refinery in Sapugaskanda Special thanks to News360.ik

(COLOMBO, Sri Lanka) - The United States says it is premature to talk about providing any kind of exemption to Sri Lanka to buy oil from Iran, despite the US sanctions on Iranian oil imports.

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert O Blake made this point when he addressed the media in Colombo yesterday.

During the media briefing, a journalist asked if the Sri Lankan government request for an exemption from the sanctions, whether the United States will consider it.

In response, Blake also said the US is encouraging its friends around the world to do everything they can to wind down all transactions with the Central Bank of Iran as quickly as possible.

“And then to significantly reduce their imports of oil from Iran”, he further added.

Blake’s comments come as Sri Lanka is still trying to find alternatives to replace Iran which supplies crude oil to the country.

Crude oil supplies to Sri Lanka’s one and only refinery in Sapugaskanda which refines nearly 50,000 barrels per day mainly comes from Iran.

Making matters worse the country’s sole refinery is only able to refine Iranian crude oil and the Saudi Arabian light.

However as of now, Sri Lanka only imports a single consignment from Saudi Arabia per year amounting to 135,000 metric tons of crude, an insignificant quantity compared with the total crude oil amount the country refines every year.

United States embargo on Iranian oil imports is aimed at putting pressure on Teheran to be transparent with its ongoing nuclear program.

Special thanks to News360.ik

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