Use petrol sparingly: Minister

Petroleum Resources Development Minister Arjuna Ranatunga requested the public to use petrol sparingly until the situation normalises by Wednesday.

Long queues were seen outside filling stations in and around Colombo for the third day yesterday, as the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) struggled to meet the petrol demand that shot up suddenly due to panic buying.

Oil bowsers were dispatched from the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal in Kolonnawa to filling stations in various parts of the country from yesterday morning despite it being a holiday.

CPC sources said the usual consumption of petrol, which is about 2,000 MT per day, had doubled in the last three days as panicked consumers started stocking up petrol.

Many filling stations were closed and some stations restricted issuing petrol as the stocks ran out very fast. No shortage of diesel, kerosene and jet fuel was reported.

Fears of petrol shortage were driven by the rejection of a fuel shipment imported by the Lanka Indian Oil Company.

The shipment that arrived in the country on October 15 was rejected as it failed to meet the required standards.

Another shipment of fuel ordered by the CPC from UAE was delayed by several days. The CPC sources said that ship carrying 30,000 MT of fuel will arrive in the country by Wednesday.

Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Trade Union Collective Convener D.J. Rajakaruna writing to Minister Ranatunga over the fuel shortage on Saturday reiterated the need to develop the storage capacity of the CPC to maintain sufficient buffer stocks. 

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