Sri Lanka warns gasoline stocks about to run dry - report

4 Jul 2022

Quantum Commodity Intelligence - Sri Lanka's energy minister has issued a stark warning over the country's fuel stocks as it faces its worst economic crisis in more than 70 years, according to a report from BBC Asia Monday.

Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said Sunday that the nation only had enough gasoline left for less than a day under regular demand, adding fresh supplies were not scheduled to arrive for more than two weeks.

Sri Lanka announced last week a two-week halt to all fuel sales except for essential services and appealed to the private sector to work from home.

Wijesekera told reporters that the country had 12,774 mt of diesel and 4,061 mt of petrol left in its reserves.

"The next petrol shipment is expected between the 22nd and 23rd [of July]," he added.

The minister said that a shipment of diesel was expected to arrive at the weekend, but Wijesekera warned that the country does not have enough money to pay for planned fuel and crude oil imports.

He said Sri Lanka's central bank could only supply $125m for fuel purchases, far less than the $587m needed for its scheduled shipments.

Wijesekera added that the country owed $800m to seven suppliers for purchases it made earlier this year.

Last Thursday, an International Monetary Fund team concluded a fresh round of talks with Sri Lanka over a $3bn bailout deal.

The cash-strapped country has also sent officials to the major energy producers Russia and Qatar in a bid to secure oil supplies.