(Reuters) – Oman is willing to sell crude oil to Sri Lanka, which is scrambling to find an alternative to its threatened primary supply from Iran, Oman’s oil minister said on Friday.
“We have an international trading company and they are willing to look into crude trading with the government or with the petroleum agencies here in Sri Lanka,” Omani Oil Minister Mohammad bin Hamad al-Rumhy told reporters in Colombo.
He declined to say what quantity of crude sales had been agreed, adding Oman was looking at investment opportunities including upgrading its sole refinery.
“We will study the refinery expansion project and see how best we can handle it,” he said.
Sri Lanka for several years has been looking to upgrade its aging 50,000 barrel-per-day Sapugaskanda refinery after a $2 billion upgrade plan with Iran, its main crude supplier, fell through last year.
A petroleum ministry official on condition of anonymity told Reuters that Oman is looking to make an investment of about $500 million investment, including the refinery upgrade and tourism and agriculture.