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Ceylon Petroleum Corporation seeks alternative to Murban crude for October

Sri Lanka's Ceylon Petroleum Corp is seeking to buy an alternative to its usual purchases of Murban crude oil, a tender document showed on Tuesday.

It is requesting for 700,000 barrels of the alternative crude to Murban on a delivered basis into Colombo, the document stated. Murban is produced by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co in the United Arab Emirates.

The cargo is for delivery over Oct. 20 to 24 and the tender closes on Aug. 14, with offers to remain valid for two weeks.

The company would like to do a price comparison with other crude oil grades to gauge the competitiveness of buying Murban and will decide if it will switch to another grade based on the price offers, a company official told Reuters, declining to be named as he was not authorised to speak with media.

"The refinery is able to process different types of crude," the official added.

Murban is low density, or light, oil with a sulphur content of only 0.74 percent that is considered low compared to other Middle Eastern crudes. The grade is prized for its high yield of middle distillate fuels such as kerosene and diesel fuel when refined.

Sri Lanka was a regular importer of Iranian oil until Western sanctions were imposed in 2012, when Colombo sharply reduced its purchases of crude from the country and later switched to imports of other Middle East grades such as Oman and Murban.

Separately, the country's sole 50,000-barrels-per-day refinery completed a planned maintenance in April and has no immediate plans for another soon, the official said.

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