The United States has granted exemptions to eight countries allowing them to temporarily continue buying Iranian oil, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, as Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran’s banking, energy and shipping industries.
A senior official of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development said that the United States has not informed Sri Lanka about a waiver to import Iranian oil as it has expressed deep concern on the current political crisis.
The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is testing crude oil from Algeria to widen its supply sources for the Sapugaskanda oil refinery. However, the refinery is optimised for Iranian crude that is now subject to American sanctions, the official said.
He also said that the CPC was no longer importing Iranian crude oil and it was looking for alternative crude blends to diversify its sources of supply.
Following the threat of snapback sanctions against Tehran by the White House, Sri Lanka’s state oil corporation had earlier mulled paying for its oil imports and debts with tea. Iran, a big consumer of tea, imports 90 percent of the commodity from India and Sri Lanka.