Pakistan has placed its first order for discounted Russian crude oil under a new deal struck between Islamabad and Moscow, State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik has said.
“Our orders are in, we have placed that already,” he told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday night, adding that one cargo of the commodity will dock at the Karachi port in May.
The deal will see Pakistan buy crude oil only, not refined oil, and imports are expected to reach 100,000 barrels per day if the first transaction goes through smoothly, he said.
The minister added that Pakistan’s Refinery Limited will initially refine the Russian crude, with other refineries to be included later after a trial run.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar last year had announced that the country was considering buying discounted Russian oil, pointing out that neighbour India has been purchasing oil from Moscow and Islamabad also had a right to explore the possibility.
Subsequently, Malik had flown to Moscow for talks on issues including oil and gas supplies after which the government announced that it would purchase discounted crude oil, petrol, and diesel from Russia.
In January 2023, a Russian delegation arrived in Islamabad for talks to finalise the deal. During the three-day meeting, the countries decided to address all technical issues — insurance, transportation and payment mechanism — to sign an agreement by late March this year.
“After consensus on the technical specifications achieved, the oil and gas trade transaction will be structured in a way it has a mutual economic benefit for both countries,” a joint statement issued by the two sides had then stated.
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