KARACHI: The oil refinery in the city is expected to be on stream two weeks ahead of scheduled at Rs3.5 crores lesser cost than the original estimates. Minister for Fuel, Power and Natural Resources Z.A. Bhutto is scheduled to formally lay the foundation stone of the refinery on Feb 6.

The refinery was to be completed on Nov 1 this year at an estimated capital cost of Rs15.5 crores. The refinery is now scheduled to start processing in midOctober at an estimated cost of Rs12 crores of which 60 per cent will be in foreign exchange.

The General Manager of the Pakistan Refinery J.G.

Goezee left for London yesterday to hold what appears to be thefinalround of technical consultations with members of the Consortium which is setting up the refinery. The Consortium comprises four British and American companies.

At present the main stack of the refinery is being erected. The stack will be 13 feet in diameter and 175 feet in height. The construction in general is progressing well at the refinery, which will have the most modern equipment, especially automatic control of instruments.

Arrangements are in handto shift the offices of the Pakistan Refinery to its site at Korangi by June 1. Two batches of engineers and technicians were sent abroad for 15-month training. Six of them have returned, while the remaining will return by April or May. On return, they will start training the staff locally.

Joint tanker fleet with Iran likely

TEHERAN: Plans for the establishment of a joint Iranian-Pakistan tanker fleet are under discussion between the two governments, it was learnt here yesterday. The suggestion to create such a fleet is understood to have been made by Minister for Fuel, Power and Natural Resources Z.A.

Bhutto. He is interested in small and medium-size tankers which are to supply Pakistan's future large oil refinery in Karachi with cheap crude oil.

The long-term planning, in the view of American oil experts, seems to mean that the Pakistani government does not attach any great importance to the Soviet technicians who came to Pakistan in November last for oil prospecting.—Agencies