12 Oct 2023 17:42

Pakistan in talks with Russia on long-term contracts not just for oil but also LNG

MOSCOW. Oct 12 (Interfax) - Pakistan is discussing with the Russian side not only agreements on long-term oil supplies, but also the possibility of buying LNG.

"Pakistani refineries are already negotiating on the issue of importing Russian oil," Pakistan's interim federal energy minister Muhammad Ali told reporters on the sidelines of Russian Energy Week.

"We are talking about deliveries of 1 million tonnes of oil. The specific volume will depend on commercial conditions, on the price. If the price is good, we move forward and sign the contract," the minister said.

"Today we are meeting with Gazprom and Novatek to discuss LNG," he also added.

Pakistan imports about 70 million barrels of oil per year (about 10 million tonnes) and could cover more than a third of its total oil imports with Russian oil. The first shipment of Russian oil was imported by Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) in June.

Pakistan Refinery Limited head Zahid Mir told Interfax that Pakistan bought only one batch of 100,000 tonnes of oil from Russia as a test, as Russian oil is quite heavy and sulfurous, and Pakistan has traditionally bought Middle Eastern oil.

Commenting on the prospects of a long-term contract, Mir remarked that everything would depend on the price.

Petroleum products are not imported from Russia; Pakistan has a long-term agreement with Kuwait to supply diesel, the top manager added.

Pakistan imports 10 million tonnes of oil, he said, but the country' total demand (for petroleum products) is about 25 million tonnes, with the rest imported in the form of petroleum products.

According to the Central Dispatching Department of the Fuel and Energy Complex (CDU TEK), oil supplies to Pakistan in 2021 came from Saudi Arabia (50.6%) and the UAE (41.3%). All oil imports pass through Fatco terminals in the port of Qasim and Keamari in the port of Karachi. From here oil is delivered by pipeline to refineries in Pakistan.