By Asif Shahzad
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan has placed its first order for discounted Russian crude oil under a new deal struck between Islamabad and Moscow, the country’s petroleum minister said, with one cargo to dock at Karachi port in May.
The deal will see Pakistan buy crude oil only, not refined fuels and imports are expected to reach 100,000 barrels per day if the first transaction goes through smoothly, Minister Musadik Malik told Reuters on Wednesday night.
“Our orders are in, we have placed that already,” he said.
“Yes it is true that we will be getting only crude, not refined oil,” Malik said in response to confirming sources’ information whether that’s correct.
He said Pakistan’s Refinery Limited (PRL) will initially refine the Russian crude, with other refineries to be included later after a trial run.
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.