Oil Slick

Feb 18, 2010 (LBO) – Lanka IOC, a unit of the Indian Oil Corporation, said it was making ship oil or bunker deliveries from Colombo port through locally registered vessels after barges contracted by the firm were detained by Sri Lanka shipping authorities. Shipping sources say the bunker tankers of other operators are mostly idle after Lanka IOC started selling ship oil and lubricants out of Colombo and took an estimated 60 percent of the market within a few months.

Other bunker suppliers have complained that Lanka IOC is engaging in anti-competitive practices and selling fuel below cost in a bid to eliminate competition, a charge denied by Lanka IOC.

Lanka IOC has said earlier that that the firm makes profits at some months from its bunkers business and losses in others.

In the December quarter Lanka IOC reported a profit of 12 million rupees with the help of dividends from a common user petroleum facility it jointly owns with state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. “We are making deliveries,” Lanka IOC managing director K R Suresh Kumar said.

“There are other barges operating in Sri Lankan waters.”

The second of two foreign registered bunker tankers chartered by the firm was detained by Sri Lankan merc