|Sanctions on Iran hits Sri Lankan oil refining process||
The refining of Arabian Light crude oil has resulted in a decline in the output of petrol and kerosene in Sri Lanka.
The country previously used Iranian Light crude oil, which has now been stopped following the U.S. sanctions on Iran. The government has now turned to the next option, Arabian Light crude oil.
Petroleum Minister Susil Premajayantha said the government had no other option but to look for alternative crude oil supplies since Iranian Light could not be imported.
He explained that the yield from Arabian Light crude oil was less than Iranian Light.
He pointed out that the sulphur content in Arabian Light crude oil was higher than Iranian Light.
“Usually when 5,000 tons of Iranian crude is refined we produce 1,200 tons of diesel and 1,250 tons of petrol while rest are kerosene and furnace oil. However, with Arabian Light crude oil, we get around 1,400 tons of diesel and 600 tons of petrol,” Premajayantha said.
According to the Minister there is a 10 percent decline in the yield when refining Arabian Light oil.
Nevertheless, Secretary of the JSS (CPC Branch) Ananda Palitha says the yield has declined when refining Arabian Light oil since it has not been mixed with another crude oil.
“If any other crude oil is used in the Sapugaskanda refinery other than Iranian Light crude, it has to be mixed with another crude.
If we are refining Arabian Light it has to be mixed with Meri Light,” he explained. He added that the refinery could use only a crude oil blend in the absence of Iranian Light. However, CPC Managing Director Susantha Silva said there was no necessity to mix Arabian Light with any other crude oil.
“Since we cannot import Iranian Light due to economic sanctions we have to import Arabian Light, but there is no necessity to mix Arabian Light with another crude oil,” he said. He added that the government was currently in discussion with the Iranian government to explore possibilities of importing oil from Iran.
Meanwhile, pumping of crude oil from a shipment carrying 135,00 tons of crude oil commenced on Friday.
The pumping of crude oil from the ship that reached Colombo on August 28 was delayed due to a leak in the pipeline connected to the buoy.
CPC Managing Director Silva said that pumping crude oil commenced on Friday after completing the repair work.
“The oil needs to settle once it is pumped to the refinery and we are looking at starting the refining process on Sunday,” he observed. However, since the starting up of the machinery at the refinery, which is currently shut down, the start of operations is expected to take around three days. “We are hopeful that crude oil could be refined and the output taken out this Wednesday,” Silva said.
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