Pakistan negotiating for second cargo of discounted Russian crude

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of Petroluem Musadiq Malik has said that the country is negotiating to buy second shipment of Russian crude oil at a discounted rate.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Malik said that the country has benefited from the Russian crude and confirmed that government was set to secure another cargo.

Malik told reporters that the first shipment, consisting of 100,000 tons of Russian Urals crude, underwent successful testing at the state-run Pakistan Refinery Limited.

“Despite limitations such as higher freight and insurance costs, and increased production of furnace oil after refining compared to Arabian light oil, the Russian oil will still be beneficial for the country,” he added.

Meanwhile, the quantity of oil for the second consignment and details regarding the price or discount of the first shipment have been kept under wraps by the petroleum minister.

He mentioned that the first cargo arrived at the port of Karachi in April and was paid for in China’s currency.

He further said that the country entered into the deal with Russia in part to save on foreign exchange reserves, which were primarily allocated to oil imports.

“The country has been facing severe balance of payment crisis, with its central bank reserves barely sufficient to cover one month of controlled imports. It was teetering on the verge of default before securing a $3 billion bailout from International Monetary Fund late last month,” added Malik.

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