COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has virtually run out of petrol and diesel after several expected shipments were delayed indefinitely, the energy minister said Saturday while apologising to motorists for the worsening fuel crisis.

Kanchana Wijesekera said oil cargoes that were due last week did not turn up while those scheduled to arrive next week will also not reach Sri Lanka due to “banking” reasons.

Sri Lanka is facing a serious shortage of foreign exchange to finance even the most essential imports, including food, fuel and medicines and is appealing for international handouts.

Wijesekera said the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation was unable to say when fresh oil supplies will be on the island. The CPC had also shut its only refinery over a shortage of crude oil, he added.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2022

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