A ship sent to Iran to bring fuel came back last month without fuel says the Sri Lankan Minister of Petroleum Industries Susil Premajayanthe.

Susil speaking to the media yesterday (1st) regarding the closing down of Sapugaskanda refinery said due to the sanctions imposed by the USA the ship could not be loaded with fuel.  Despite the USA giving approval to Sri Lanka to import 10% of the 135,000 metric tons of fuel that she imports from Iran, not a drop of fuel has been brought from Iran due to the sanctions imposed on Iran Oil Company he said.

He also said the necessary re-insurance for tankers and letters of credit needed to import oil could not be obtained due to sanctions imposed. He said it would be possible to start work at Sapugaskanda refinery as soon as oil from Oman reaches Sri Lanka on 8th November.

However, the government had known this situation when sanctions were imposed last June but had not taken any measures to get down crude oil from Saudi Arabia or Oman. As a result Sapugaskanda refinery was closed down incurring a loss of Rs. 55 billion per day.

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