* Oman to help Sri Lanka on oil and gas needs

Jan 27, Colombo: Sultanate of Oman has assured that it was prepared to help Sri Lanka to meet its gas and oil needs in the event of a fuel crisis brought on by the United States sanctions on Iran’s oil exports.

In a discussion with Sri Lanka’s Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha Thursday, Petroleum Minister of Oman Dr. Mohamad Bin Hamad Al-Rumhi who is on a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka has assured that his country is ready to support Sri Lanka to avert a fuel crisis.

The two sides are holding talks on the issue today as well.

An Omani delegation led by the Minister Al-Rumhi arrived in Colombo Thursday (26) to explore the investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.

The visiting Minister of Oman also met Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa Thursday to discuss business and investment opportunities in the island.

Impressed with the progress Sri Lanka has made in the tourism, agriculture and investment sectors Dr. Al-Rumhi has noted that an environment conducive to investments prevailed in the island.

According to Reuters, the country’s only refinery at Sapugaskanda that processes 50,000 barrels per day is almost entirely reliant on imports of Iran’s crude.

Minister Premajayantha has earlier said that his Ministry is looking for other sources of crude like Oman Light or Saudi Arabia’s Arabian Light.

The state-run petroleum authority, Ceylon Petroleum Company (CPC) buys one cargo a year of Arabian Light crude from Saudi Aramco, and is already in discussions to increase that supply, oil officials told Reuters Friday.

Sri Lanka presently receives a four-month Iranian oil credit facility at a concessionary interest rate to meet its crude oil requirements.

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