With the passage of seven months since sanctions removals and Iran’s entrance to post-sanction period, a new round of oil talks between Iran and Sri Lanka kicked off today in Tehran at presence of Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh as well as the Sri Lankan Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Chandima Weerakkody.
Sri Lanka marks a traditional customer of Iranian crude as 100 per cent of the oil demand in its only oil refinery, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, was supplied by Iran before the imposition of international sanctions.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Iran’s Zanganeh said the ties between the two countries, which had halted due to sanctions, will be reinvigorated; “being situated in the Indian Ocean region, Iran and Sri Lanka are naturally in conjunction with each other.”
The official, while emphasizing that the Iran can launch cooperation with the East Asian country in various field, said there exist no restrictions for expansion of bilateral relations, especially in oil, gas and petrochemical arenas.
He further voiced Iran’s readiness to bolster ties with Iran reiterating “we are optimistic that the Sri Lankan petroleum minister’s visit to Tehran would alleviate obstacles created during sanction years.”
Recently, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Executive Director for International Affairs Seyed Mohsen Ghamsari had announced that oil exports to Sri Lanka has not started yet adding “NIOC executives in Singapore have launched talks with officials if Ceylon Petroleum Corporation over resumption of oil sales.”
The NIOC official had voiced Iran’s readiness to supply the whole 40-thousand-barrel demand of Sri Lanka underlining “over the past three years, some countries have taken Iran’s market share during sanctions years and we are seeking to regain the market.”
At the present time, Sri Lanka’s total crude oil demand is estimated to be approximately 45 to 50 thousand barrels per day.
Following the application of international sanctions, Iran’s crude was replaced by Saudi Arabian and Omani oil in the East Asian country’s Ceylon refinery.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Minister Petroleum Resources Development Chandima Weerakkody had then announced that the use of Saudi Arabia’s oil had brought about a significant decline in the country’s gasoline production. (Colombo Gazette)