Under a newly established agreement between Islamabad and Moscow, the inaugural shipment of discounted Russian crude oil arrived in Karachi on Sunday, marking the beginning of enhanced trade relations between the two nations.
Departing from Russia over a month ago, the oil cargo reached Pakistan via Oman. Officials announced that the unloading process would commence on Monday, with the oil undergoing processing at the Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL).
During its lengthy voyage, the 100,000 metric ton oil shipment was divided into two parts in Oman due to the Karachi port’s limited capacity to accommodate larger vessels. Subsequently, two smaller ships, each carrying 50,000 metric tons of oil, embarked on their journey to Karachi.
Upon the cargo’s arrival, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his enthusiasm on Twitter, describing Sunday as a “transformative day” and affirming the fulfillment of his commitment to the nation.
He expressed the belief that these developments would contribute incrementally to prosperity, economic growth, energy security, and affordability. The Prime Minister further recognised and commended all those involved in this national endeavor who helped turn the promise of Russian oil imports into reality.
Sources indicate that this Russian oil shipment will not be subject to the existing domestic oil pricing mechanism in the country. Consequently, the PRL will assume the benefits or losses associated with the Russian oil. Additionally, the sources stated that this shipment serves as a test case to evaluate the quality of the crude oil and the ratio of refined products. A report will be submitted to the federal government to inform future decisions regarding long-term commercial oil agreements.
Pakistan had secured its order for the initial cargo of Russian crude oil at a discounted rate of up to $18 per barrel. Following the Platts crude oil prices, Islamabad applied a discount ranging from $16 to $18 per barrel, according to insider information.