ISLAMABAD: The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (Socar) on Tuesday appeared to be back-peddling its diplomatic push for oil and gas deals with Pakistan’s public sector firms under government-to-government arrangement after an aggressive public snub by the Petroleum Division.
A Socar spokesman said that various media reports appearing in the last several days did not represent the reality of successful cooperation between state entities of brotherly Pakistan and Socar. As in all sectors of political and economic life, relationships between Pakistan and Azerbaijan in the energy sphere are also built on principles of mutual respect and confidence, the spokesman said in a generalised statement.
“In accordance with the inter-governmental agreement in the sphere of energy, links between the two countries continue in positive mode and grow in upward trajectory,” said the spokesman, adding the fruitful results the two sides have witnessed in the recent years of this cooperation will be further strengthened in the years ahead as well.
Earlier, Pakistan’s ambassador to Baku had recently reported that Socar was complaining against Petroleum Division for continuous silence over its offers for oil and gas supplies, a situation not in the interest of bilateral relations.
In response, Petroleum Division said in a statement that it did not avail Socar’s offer for import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on credit because its price was ‘substantially expensive’ than spot purchases and contract with Qatar Gas, did not provide any material financial benefit and earlier dealings with Socar were not encouraging.
According to Ambassador Bilal Hayee, the Chief Operating Officer of Socar Toghrul Kocharli had approached him to inquire about GoP’s response to the comprehensive proposal made by Socar in March this year for provision of LNG and petroleum products to Pakistan as a follow-up to discussions on prospective energy cooperation held during the visit of Azerbaijan’s foreign minister to Islamabad in January.
According to Socar representative, they have offered a detailed proposal for supply of LNG as well as petroleum products to the officials of Petroleum Division in March. The offer also includes separate credit lines of $120 million and $100m for 60 days for LNG and petroleum products respectively.
Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2021