Sri Lanka is receiving Russian crude oil that it will use to make fuel as the nation faces crippling shortages of everything from gasoline to diesel.
The Russian grade of Siberian Light will be processed at Ceylon Petroleum Corp.’s refinery in Sapugaskanda, Chairman Sumith Wijesinghe said.
According to the Minister of Power and Energy, the country’s sole refinery is set to receive crude oil tomorrow (28), enabling its restart for the first time in over two months.
“Sapugaskanda refinery will commence operations for first time since March 20 with a crude oil cargo unloading tomorrow,” Minister Kanchana Wijesekera tweeted today.
“The refinery will start producing fuel oil in six days.”
Sri Lanka is the latest Asian nation to accept Russian crude after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine prompted widespread condemnation and sanctions.
Most refiners in the US and across Europe have halted purchases from the OPEC+ producer, prompting the cost of Russian oil to plummet, while opportunistic buying from Asian customers in China and India has surged.
The Russian Foreign Ministry further said that Russia is now considering the next steps to provide assistance.
“The question of how Moscow can help Colombo is still under consideration and it is too early to talk about concrete steps,” the ministry added.
It’s still unclear how Sri Lanka will be paying for the shipment.
Sri Lanka has been facing its worst financial crisis of the country’s independent history, with shortages of everything from food to oil.
Fuel supplies are so low that the government told citizens not to queue for gasoline at filling stations.
The nation has been trying to come up with cash to pay for oil that’s been sitting on tankers off its coast as its fuel crunch persists.