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Pakistan edges closer to securing Russian crude oil discount

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Islamabad is reportedly seeking to secure Russian crude oil at a cost of approximately $50 per barrel, which is at least $10 less than the price cap that G7 nations have imposed on oil originating from Russia due to its ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

According to sources speaking to The Republic Policy News on Sunday, the Petroleum Division is currently engaged in virtual talks with Russian officials, who are prioritizing finalizing details such as mode of payment, shipping, and insurance before committing to an agreement with Pakistan. Once these prerequisites are established, Russia is expected to disclose the discount it can offer on the base price, but officials warn that transportation costs could add $10-15 per barrel due to the 30-day shipping period from Russian ports.

Despite these challenges, the discussions between Islamabad and Moscow are said to be progressing positively, with hopes of a government-to-government deal being struck before the end of March. While authorities are yet to confirm the mode of payment for the import of crude oil, they are considering whether to use Pakistan National Shipping Corporation ships or Russian tankers for transportation.

However, officials have cautioned that the landed cost of Russian crude oil could rise significantly if shipping costs are not factored in, potentially offsetting any discount offered by Russia.

It should be noted that although State Minister Musadik Malik claimed in a press conference that Pakistan could secure a 30% discount on Russian crude oil, anonymous officials have yet to confirm this figure.

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