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Saturday July 20, 2024

Govt targets importing one-third of crude oil needs from Russia

By Tanveer Malik
May 26, 2023

KARACHI: State Minister for Petroleum Mussadik Malik said on Thursday that the government targets to import one-third of the country's total crude oil requirements from Russia.

Malik told reporters that the government has finalized a comprehensive energy security agreement with Russia, which would cover different aspects of the energy supply in the country. "We want to open an energy corridor with Central Asia like the one we have with Gulf countries," Malik said. "This would reduce the cost of energy in the country and would be helpful in the development of industrial clusters and value additions in the agriculture sector."

When asked about the discounted price of the imported Russian crude oil, Malik refused to disclose the commercial deal, citing contractual obligations. However, he said that the government believes in practical work and does not indulge in "waving cipher" to hurt the national interests. The minister said that the government's objective is to import 18-20 percent of its total crude oil imports from Russia, with the hope that this move will substantially lower petroleum product prices for domestic consumers.

He said that the deal with Russia has been structured transparently within four to five months and would be helpful in reducing the burden on the masses in the form of reduction in oil prices domestically.

Earlier speaking at the event, Malik said that a comprehensive energy security agreement would be completed by the end of this year, which would cover different aspects of the energy supply in the country.

He said that it would detail from where crude oil, LNG would be taken and how it would be transported in the country and supplied to the consumers. He said that this agreement would cover energy imports from Russia and Central Asian States along with the other countries and regions.

The minister said that the government wanted to bring new investment in Pakistan and take it into the global value chain. He said Pakistan is a responsible country and gateway to Central Asia. "We want to tell the world that Pakistan is the way to actualize the energy and gas potential of Central Asia," he said.

Malik said that the government has also finalized the national refinery policy that would bring $10 billion investment in the refining sector. "Very soon, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will inaugurate a $10 billion investment, the details of which cannot be shared at the moment."

He said Pakistan also desired to complete the gas pipeline project with Iran and would be taken considering the international sanctions on Iran. The government is also enhancing its enforcement on border areas to curb oil smuggling from Iran. "In the coming days the flow of smuggled oil will reduce," he said.