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Sri Lanka looking for alternative ways to unload crude: minister

June 26, 2014 (LBO) - Sri Lanka is looking for a small vessel to unload crude mid-sea from tankers and bring oil to a refinery after a hose in an offshore mooring buoy burst, petroleum minister Anura Yapa said. He said if necessary refined products could be imported. Already two thirds of the fuel to the country is imported refined. Sri Lanka's only oil refinery is also shut and is expected to complete maintenance and start operations on July 01, he said. An off-shore buoy which is used to unload is now unserviceable after a pipeline burst and engineers have still not found the cause, he said. Divers have not been able to reach the breach due to rough seas for many days he said. Experts for several crude transfer hose companies were in Sri Lanka to help determine the cause and repair the pipeline, he said. But they were looking for a small vessel to engage in ship-to-ship transfers, which will then be unloaded at a jetty in the port, Yapa said. He said there were adequate stocks of refined fuel in the country. "There will be no shortage of fuel in the country because we have stocks for month," Yapa said.  
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