ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik has confirmed that Pakistan has placed its first order for discounted Russian crude oil under a new deal struck between Islamabad and Moscow.
The development comes months after Pakistan approached Russia expressing its willingness to import crude oil.
After the placement of the order, one cargo will dock at 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,” Malik told Reuters on Wednesday night.
“Our orders are in, we have placed that already,” he said.
He said Pakistan’s Refinery Limited (PRL) will initially refine the Russian crude, with other refineries to be included later after a trial run.
Earlier this month, a delegation from Russia arrived in Pakistan to hold talks regarding the payment mode.
“Russians during the talks have raised the issue over the reporting of the talks in the media particularly about the discount in crude oil price and mode of payment stressing the Pakistani counterparts to ensure keeping the deal with Moscow secret as they do not want the disclosure to other Russian crude buyer countries,” sources privy to the matter told The News.
Therefore, Pakistan’s top functionaries also decided not to disclose the mode of payment and the exact discount.
Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov led a delegation to Islamabad in January to hold talks on the deal, after which he said oil exports to Pakistan could begin after March.
However, things got delayed as the two sides struggled to reach a consensus on the payment mode along with other aspects of the deal.