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ISLAMABAD: A Russian ministerial delegation is scheduled to visit Pakistan in January 2023 for further negotiation on the commercial agreement on the import of petrol, diesel, and LNG at discounted rates.

Minister for State on Energy (Petroleum Division) Musadik Malik announced this on Monday at a press conference.

He said that his recent visit to Russia was successful as it agreed to supply both crude and refined petrol, diesel, and LNG at discounted rates, especially when the world was witnessing a shortage and high premier on diesel.

The delegation — comprising State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik, Secretary Petroleum Captain (retired) Muhammad Mahmood, joint secretary, and officials of the Pakistan Embassy visited Moscow.

The minister rejected some reports that suggested that Pakistani delegation had asked their Russian counterparts for a 30-40 percent discount on crude oil, a demand turned down by Moscow, which said it could not offer anything right now as all volumes were committed. “It is incorrect as the dialogue with Russian on import of oil is successful”, he said.

Pakistan's delegation leaves for Russia to hold discussions on oil, gas

The minister said that it would be too early to disclose the discounted rates offered by Russia on petroleum products; however, the rate would be finalised in commercial agreements to be signed between the companies of both countries.

He further said that the Russian government had shown keen interest in gas infrastructure including laying a trans-countries gas pipeline and much-awaited North-South gas pipeline (NSGP). “We requested the Russian government to show some flexibility on the contract signed on the NSGP”, he added.

He maintained that the Russian side had offered to sign long-term agreements of LNG supply from two new fields to be operative till 2025-26. At present, he said they arranged a meeting with Russian private companies in the LNG business.

He further said that in the coming days, he would also disclose other ongoing negotiations with other countries. “We are negotiating with Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan under government-to-government agreements for cooperation in the energy sector for the supply of gas at cheaper rates,” he said.

For current winters, he said the gas companies had arranged additional gas from the country’s gas deposits for December and January as compared with the same months of previous years. This would he said help the gas companies to ensure a smooth supply of gas three times a day for cooking. Four state-owned oil and gas companies would provide 20,000 tons of LPG to end consumers where gas pressure was low in addition to LPG worth two million euro LPG from Iran, he added.

On November 30, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar announced that a delegation from Pakistan, led by Musadik Malik, would leave for Russia to negotiate a potential oil deal with Moscow.

“The government has authorised the Ministry of Petroleum, and our team will leave for Russia for negotiations,” said Dar.

Earlier this month, Dar had said that during his visit to the US in October, he met officials and took up the issue of oil purchase from Russia.

Washington could not stop Pakistan from buying the commodity from Russia because neighbouring India has also been doing the same, he stated.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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