ISLAMABAD: Iran has offered to provide 80,000 barrels of crude oil to Pakistan on three-month deferred payment.
Prime Minister’s special assistant on petroleum Dr Asim Hussain told reporters after a meeting of the National Assembly’s standing committee on petroleum that he would visit Tehran in the second week of March to discuss the matter. He said the Iranian offer had been forwarded to the State Bank for advice and expert opinion.
He said the payment for oil could also be adjusted against wheat exports to Iran currently in the process of finalisation. The central bank’s advice was required because of US and UN sanctions against Iran.
Dr Hussain said Iran had also offered to provide $250 million for laying a pipeline for crude supply but Pakistan wanted this assistance to be increased to $500 million.
Iran agreed last week to import one million tons of wheat and 200,000 tons of sugar under a barter trade deal and provide fertiliser and iron ore to Pakistan.
Dr Hussain said Pakistan had also received heads of agreement from Qatar for import of 3.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for 15 or 25 years at about $15-16 per MMBTU (million British thermal unit) but wanted the agreement for 10 year supplies.
He said Qatar had proposed to inspect the terminal and shipping facilities in Pakistan to see if these were according to international standards acceptable to Qatar so that its ship could pump LNG in that quantity into Pakistan’s system. He said Pakistan would now make a counter offer on pricing in a few days.