According to officials from the state-owned Pakistan State Oil (PSO), a cargo of around 100,000 metric tons of Russian Urals crude oil is scheduled to arrive at the Port Qasim in Karachi by mid-April. The consignment was procured through a spot tender by the PSO, which is the largest oil marketing company in Pakistan.
This development marks a significant shift in Pakistan’s energy mix, which has been heavily reliant on crude oil imports from the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. With the diversification of its sources, Pakistan can potentially benefit from better pricing, supply stability, and geopolitical flexibility.
The PSO officials said that the Russian crude oil would be processed by the country’s two refineries, the Pakistan Refinery Limited and the National Refinery Limited, which have a combined capacity of around 250,000 barrels per day. This would improve the operational efficiency of these facilities and increase their utilization rate, which has been affected by the recent decline in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, the officials added that the PSO was exploring the possibility of entering into long-term contracts with Russian oil companies for regular supplies of crude oil. This would further strengthen the energy cooperation between the two countries and promote bilateral trade and investment.
In conclusion, the arrival of Russian crude oil in Pakistan next month is a positive development for the country’s energy sector and overall economic growth. By diversifying its sources of crude oil imports, Pakistan can mitigate the risks of supply disruptions and price volatility and achieve a more sustainable and resilient energy mix.