Islamabad: A Pakistani delegation holding talks with their Russian counterparts has asked for a 30-40% discount on crude oil, a demand turned down by Moscow which said it could not offer anything right now as all volumes were committed, according to a media report.
According to a report in the News, the delegation, which included state minister for petroleum Musadik Malik, secretary for petroleum Capt (retd) Muhammad Mahmood, joint secretary, and representatives of the Pakistani embassy in Moscow, requested a discount during negotiations in Moscow. The talks ended with no cogent conclusion but the Russian side promised to consider Pakistan’s demand and to share its decision later on through diplomatic channels, the paper said, citing its sources.
The government claimed that Indian oil companies' success in importing oil from Russia at a discount has helped the economy partially offset the effects of high crude prices, which had risen to $130 a barrel in the wake of the war in Ukraine.
Industry sources claim that at the height of the crisis, the oil firms were able to negotiate a $10 per barrel reduction. Russia, according to the News, can provide crude at the same prices it is offering to its major clients, which are stable and sound economies, at the appropriate time.
The Russian side asked Pakistan to first honour its commitment to the flagship project of the much-touted Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline to be constructed from Karachi to Lahore. Pakistan’s official delegation left for Moscow on November 29 on a three-day visit for talks with the Russian authorities to explore possibilities of import of crude oil at a discounted price, mode of payment and shipment cost. Citing industrial ministry sources, the paper said that Russian crude oil can be processed in Pakistan’s refineries, and in the past one private refinery had used Russian crude oil to deliver finished products.