Consumers should not engage in panic buying of petrol and diesel following the temporary closure of the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery as adequate fuel stocks are available in the country, the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) said yesterday, November 17.
Issuing a press release, the PMC said the closure of the oil refinery is a strategic step taken considering the current economic situation and stocks are sufficient for the upcoming demand.
“There will be no impact on the energy supply of the country due to this move and it indirectly helps to properly manage the remaining foreign reserves,” the PMC noted.
According to the stock details issued by the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL), there were 28,185 MTs of Auto Diesel, 54,884 MTs of Petrol 92, 9,597 MTs of Super Diesel, 15,267 MTs of Petrol 95 and 18,946 MTs of Jet Fuel and Kerosene in stock by Monday (15).
In addition, Sri Lanka will receive another 35, 000 MTs of diesel, petrol, jet fuel and kerosene each by November 21, the press release said.
Meanwhile, the PMC pointed out that considering the latest developments in the fuel demand in the country, it is financially advantageous to the Government to purchase refined oil rather than crude oil at this critical juncture.
The Sapugaskanda Refinery produced only 43 per cent of petrol and diesel while the rest is Naphtha Oil and jet fuel. In order to obtain one barrel of petrol and diesel out of crude oil, 2.32 barrels need to be used. One crude oil barrel now costs US$ 87.
As the demand for jet fuel and other oil products have reduced to a considerable amount at present and the demand for petrol and diesel remains the same, purchasing refined oil barrels from the world market as a temporary solution is beneficial to the country in economic terms. A refined petrol or diesel barrel can be purchased from the world market at an average price of US$ 93, it stated.
In response to various parties who said that the Sapugaskanda Oil refinery was closed for the first time ever in history, the PMC said that it had been closed several times for the past five decades and this year too it was closed for essential repairs.
The Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery is to undergo essential repairs.