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Anyone but the Indians

Sri Lanka imports 90% of its oil from Iran, and with US-EU sanctions on Iran looming, needs to source oil elsewhere.

But its sole refinery, at Sapugaskanda, needs upgrading if it is to refine oil from other countries.

Yet, Sri Lanka has rejected an offer by the state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to do this.

Instead, Colombo will seek expressions of interest from others to do the work, which it claims will cost $500m.

The reason, according to Petroleum Minister Susil Premjayantha, is IOC already operates a majority of fuel stations in Sri Lanka and increases fuel prices at will.

Actually, IOC controls one third of Sri Lanka's retail fuel market.

But unlike Sri Lanka’s state-owned companies, IOC won’t accede to Colombo demands and sell fuel at less than cost.

In any case, for Sri Lanka, the IOC is … well, Indian. See what we mean here.

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