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Delayed Russian oil cargo to reach Pakistan on June 11

By Khalid Mustafa
June 06, 2023

ISLAMABAD: A Russian cargo vessel carrying 100,000 tonnes of crude oil is behind schedule and is now expected to reach the Omani port of Duqm on June 7, a senior official told The News on Monday.

The oil will be transported to Pakistan via smaller ships from the Omani port, which will take around two weeks to reach Port Qasim in Karachi, the official added. Pakistan was initially expecting the vessel from Russia to arrive in Oman on May 27-28. "The vessel, which was loaded with Ural crude on April 21 at a Russian port, was delayed for 10 days due to technical reasons," the official said. "It then arrived at Egypt's Suez Canal on May 17, where it waited in a long queue for 12 days to cross the canal."

The vessel is expected to reach Duqm on Tuesday, after a two-day journey across the Red Sea. The tanker will then unload the crude onto a smaller vessel with a capacity of 50,000 tons. The first vessel is expected to arrive in Port Qasim on June 11.

The remaining 50,000 tons of Russian crude will be transported to Port Qasim on June 20. The authorities have said that they will ensure the safe and smooth arrival of the Russian crude. The official said the delay in the arrival of Russian crude oil is due to logistical challenges.

"The delay in the arrival of the cargo will not increase the transportation cost as it is already settled with the Russians," he said. "However, if the price of crude oil in the meanwhile goes down, then it will be detrimental to the country." Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) will refine the test cargo of Russian crude oil, blending it with crude imported from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Aramco.

PRL has been assigned to submit the test report to the government on the quality, yields, and commercial viability of the oil. The test cargo will also help the government to assess the transportation costs, refining costs, and margins for refineries.

Pakistan imports 70 percent of its crude oil, which is refined by PRL, National Refinery Limited, Pak Arab Refinery Limited, and Byco Petroleum. The remaining 30 percent is locally produced and refined by local refineries, including Attock Refinery Limited. The move comes as Pakistan is looking to diversify its sources of oil imports amid rising global prices. Russia is a major producer of crude oil and has offered the country discounted prices on its oil. The payment for the Russian crude will be made in yuan through the Bank of China. —