Oman may help Sri Lanka if Iran oil sanctions bite

January 27, 2012 15:30

COLOMBO - Oman may sell oil to Sri Lanka in the event of a crisis, which the island nation is racing to avert with US sanctions on Iranian crude threatening its primary refining supply, Sri Lankan officials told Reuters on Friday.

Omani Oil Minister Mohammad bin Hamad al-Rumhy on Friday was holding a second and final day of talks with Sri Lankan Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha, who is hunting for a new oil supply amid limited options.

"The two ministers discussed in detail how Oman could assist Sri Lanka in the event of a crisis, if Sri Lanka is unable to import crude oil from Iran," a ministry official with knowledge of the talks between Premajayantha and Al-Rumhy told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The US and European sanctions will have an outsized effect on Sri Lanka, a tiny player in the world of buyers of Iranian oil but the one with the fewest alternatives.

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