Minister of State for Petroleum Division Musadik Malik has stated the Russian Energy Minister is coming to Pakistan next month to conclude negotiations to import crude oil from Russia at discounted rates.
Talking to media in Islamabad on Friday, he said a Pakistani delegation recently visited Moscow after consulting three Pakistani refineries and held productive discussions to import crude oil and finished petroleum products from Russia. He said Russia had offered two of its eight kinds of crude oils, which are also processable at Pakistani refineries.
Answering a question regarding Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s statement that Pakistan is neither importing oil from Russia nor making any efforts for the purpose, Musadik Malik said at present; we are not importing oil from Russia. Still, we are negotiating with the Russian authorities to buy petroleum products from them. He said we would send a detailed technical analysis of our talks with the Russian authorities to the Foreign Ministry to end confusion.
The Minister of State said a framework agreement to import Liquefied Natural Gas from Azerbaijan on Government to Government basis is under consideration, which we will likely sign soon. He said the two countries are also considering establishing a Joint Global Energy Trading company to buy any distressed cargo from the international market.
Musadik Malik said we have also expressed our desire to revive the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, providing additional piped gas to Pakistan. He said efforts are also being made to have an agreement with the United Arab Emirates to buy LNG.
Regarding the availability of gas in the country, the Minister of State said the coalition government is making all-out efforts to provide additional gas to consumers during the current and upcoming months. He said we are bringing 20,000 tons of additional Liquefied Petroleum Gas, and LPG shops are being set up in various parts of the country where piped gas is unavailable. He said we would import two additional cargoes from Qatar during the next two months.
In reply to a question, the Minister of State said we are managing a gas shortfall, and instructions have been given to maintaining gas pressure during timings for cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Musadik Malik also made it clear that the government is devising a new energy policy to boost economic growth, accelerate development, create employment opportunities and reduce inflation in the country.