STO purchases new oil shipment

The State Trading Organisation (STO) has purchased a 7000-ton oil shipment after settling overdue payments, easing fears of the country running out of oil by next week.

STO Managing Director Shahid Ali told newspaper Haveeru today that the oil shipment had been held up in Dubai after the government-owned company was unable to make outstanding payments to foreign oil suppliers.

The 7000 tons of oil began loading yesterday after STO paid US$7 million to the suppliers, Shahid said.

The shipment includes petrol, diesel and jet fuel, he added, which was enough to last for a week.

STO was hoping to order a further 9,000 tons for US$8 million tomorrow, Shahid said.

While the government provided US$3.5 million to import the new stock, the rest was arranged by STO.

The company faced financial constraints and difficulties paying foreign suppliers due to more than MVR600 million owed to STO by other government companies and institutions.

Meanwhile, STO reportedly owes US$140 to foreign oil suppliers, which it is paying in instalments.