- “We want to open an energy corridor with Central Asia,” Malik says.
- Refuses to disclose Russian oil price, citing contractual obligations.
- “PM Shehbaz will soon inaugurate a $10bn investment plan,” he adds.
KARACHI: As Pakistan waits for its shipment of discounted Russian crude oil, State Minister for Petroleum Mussadik Malik said the coalition government targets to import one-third of the country’s total crude oil requirements from Russia, The News reported Friday.
The state minister, while speaking to journalists after attending an event in the metropolis, revealed that the government has finalised a comprehensive energy security agreement with Russia, which would cover different aspects of the energy supply in the country.
Mallik said: “We want to open an energy corridor with Central Asia like the one we have with Gulf countries.”
“This would reduce the cost of energy in the country and would be helpful in the development of industrial clusters and value additions in the agriculture sector,” he maintained.
When asked about the discounted price of the imported Russian crude oil, Malik refused to disclose the commercial deal, citing contractual obligations.
Taking a jibe at former prime minister Imran Khan, he said that the government believes in practical work and does not indulge in “waving cyphers” to hurt the national interests.
The minister revealed that the government’s objective is to import 18-20% of its total crude oil imports from Russia, with the hope that this move will substantially lower petroleum product prices for domestic consumers.
He said that the deal with Russia has been structured transparently within four to five months and would be helpful in reducing the burden on the masses in the form of a reduction in oil prices domestically.
‘Pakistan is the way to actualise energy potential’
Earlier speaking at the event, Malik said that a comprehensive energy security agreement would be completed by the end of this year, which would cover different aspects of the energy supply in the country.
He said that it would detail from where crude oil, LNG would be taken and how it would be transported in the country and supplied to the consumers.
He said that this agreement would cover energy imports from Russia and the Central Asian States along with other countries and regions.
The minister said that the government wanted to bring new investment into Pakistan and take it into the global value chain. He said Pakistan is a responsible country and gateway to Central Asia. “We want to tell the world that Pakistan is the way to actualise the energy and gas potential of Central Asia,” he said.
Malik said that the government has also finalised the national refinery policy that would bring $10 billion in investment in the refining sector. “Very soon, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will inaugurate a $10 billion investment plan, the details of which cannot be shared at the moment,” he said.
He added that Pakistan also desired to complete the gas pipeline project with Iran and would be taken considering the international sanctions on Iran. The government is also enhancing its enforcement in border areas to curb oil smuggling from Iran. “In the coming days the flow of smuggled oil will reduce,” he said.