Islamabad: Sinopec, one of China’s largest energy conglomerate could be assigned multi-billion-dollar oil import and LNG supply contracts on a government-to-government approval if it gets the cabinets seal of approval.
In the cabinets first meeting presided by Prime Minister Shahid Khan Abbasi, a go-ahead was provided to start talks with China National Development and Reform Commission for the supply of LNG and POL products.
Sinopec’s President was reported to have undergone a corruption investigation in 2015 conducted by the Chinese authorities but the country also chosen this firm for inking a deal with Pakistan for POL and LNG products supply.
Pakistan is expected to gain benefits in terms of discounts on the import of LNG and POL products if an agreement gets inked with Sinopec which trades 400 million metric tons of petroleum products annually.
Sikandar Sultan Raja, Petroleum Division Secretary said that the cabinet had just given the go-ahead to begin negotiations with China for the import of LNG and POL products. He added that any Chinese entity facing corruption charges will be looked into by the government, before reaching any agreements.
Nearly two weeks ago, it had been reported that China had been extended an offer by Pakistan for setting up a mid-country deep-conversion oil refinery in Lahore, according to officials.
This was also followed by an offer to lay the second Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline from Karachi to Lahore to serve energy starved consumers in the province. It will carry 1.2b cubic feet of LNG per day.
This offer was made to a Chinese delegation headed by Nur Bekri, Administrator of National Energy Administration last month.
Pakistani side urged China to setup an oil and gas sub-group falling under the Energy Working Group for providing assistance for energy and production projects.