WORKERS moor the vessel carrying Russian oil at the Karachi Port, on Tuesday.—Courtesy KPT
WORKERS moor the vessel carrying Russian oil at the Karachi Port, on Tuesday.—Courtesy KPT

KARACHI: Just two weeks after the arrival of the first-ever Russian oil ship carrying over 45,000 tonnes of crude at Pakistan’s financial capital, another oil tanker carrying 56,000 tonnes of Russian crude oil has arrived at the Karachi Port.

Clyde Noble carrying crude oil from Russia took berth at oil pier-3 at the port on Tuesday, while the distribution of crude oil would start within the next 24 hours, Karachi Port Trust (KPT) said.

In the second week of June, oil tanker Pure Point had brought 45,142 tonnes of Russian crude oil and was delivered to Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL).

With the arrival of a second oil tanker, Russia had completed the first shipment of 100,000 tonnes of Ural oil to Pakistan. Pakistan had paid the price in Chinese currency for procuring Russian crude under government to government deal. Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov in June had already dispelled the impression about any special discount offered to Pakistan for crude oil export.

No change in prices

Amid market reports of procuring discounting Russian crude, consumers were expecting a price cut in petroleum products during a fortnightly price review on June 15, but the government had kept the oil prices unchanged.

An oil industry expert, who asked not to be named, said, “The arrival of Russian crude is actually a test run and it has been imported for technical evaluation whether it meets the country’s specification and demand.”

He said a report would be made by the Pakistan Refinery Limited where it is being refined and it may take a month to finalize a report. The expert said it is hard to predict any price cut in petrol and diesel in the upcoming fortnight petroleum price review, as Russian crude is being blended with Arabian crude to make various products.

Another oil industry executive, requesting anonymity, said, “There are remote chances of any price cut in diesel and petrol from July 1, when the government has also recently raised the petroleum development levy (PDL) on these products by Rs10 per litre.”

However, he said, he could not say about the “mood” of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and how PDL was adjusted in upcoming price review.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2023

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