ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday announced that cheap oil imported from Russia is expected to arrive in Pakistan soon.
Sharif was speaking during a National Assembly session in response to claims made by the opposition Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that the current government had come to power through a “foreign conspiracy”, wherein he refuted the allegations saying that had his government been formed as a result of a foreign-backed conspiracy, it would not have imported oil from Russia.
Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik had previously revealed to Reuters that the government had made its first purchase of Russian crude oil, with a cargo due to dock at Karachi port in May.
The minister stated that if the first transaction went smoothly, the country would seek to import 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Russian crude oil. Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) will initially refine the crude oil in a trial run, to be followed by Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO) and other refineries.
Pakistan imported 154,000 bpd of oil in 2022, mostly from two Middle Eastern countries – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. However, if Russian imports reach 100,000 bpd, it would represent a significant drop in imports from the Gulf states.
This purchase will give Russia a new outlet, adding to Moscow’s growing sales to India and China, as it redirects oil from Western markets because of the Ukraine conflict.