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Sri Lanka Seeks to Replace Iran Crude With Aramco, Oman Oil

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka received “positive responses” from Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Oman Oil Co. for supplies as the country seeks to reduce its dependence on Iranian crude, its oil minister said.

The island nation, which imports 13 of its 14 annual crude cargoes from Iran, plans to cut shipments from Iran to 10 a year to comply with U.S. sanctions, Susil Premajayantha said. It would like to double purchases from Saudi Arabia to 2 lots, and obtain 2 consignments from Oman, the minister said.

“We have to reduce 13 cargoes to 10 by the end of the year to meet sanctions requirements,” Premajayantha said at a conference in Abu Dhabi today. “We have received a positive response from Aramco to get one more cargo, and we expect to hear from Oman in a couple of days, but their response has also been positive.”

The European Union and U.S. have imposed sanctions to protest Iran’s nuclear program, restricting trade and financial transactions. The U.S. and its allies say they suspect the program is a cover for developing atomic weapons, a charge Iran has repeatedly denied, maintaining it’s for civilian purposes.

Iran hasn’t offered Sri Lanka any incentives to make its crude more attractive, Premajayantha said.

Top energy, oil stories: {ETOP <GO>} and {OTOP <GO>} Oil markets menu: {OIL <GO>}

To contact the reporter on this story: Ayesha Daya in Dubai at adaya1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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