ISLAMABAD: A Russian delegation is due to arrive in Islamabad today, on Tuesday, for talks with Pakistani officials on an oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade deal for a long-term basis and the $3 billion Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline (PSGP) project, Pakistani media reported on Monday.
Pakistan’s economy has crumbled alongside a simmering political crisis, with the country’s forex reserves dropping to $4.3 billion and inflation at decades-high levels. Last year’s devastating floods and a global energy crisis have piled on further pressure on the South Asian nation.
Pakistan’s energy imports during the last fiscal year were $23.3 billion, 29 percent of the country’s total imports. The country has imported energy products worth $7.7 billion so far this fiscal year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
Pakistan officials are expected to discuss the shipping cost, insurance cover and mode of payments among other things during talks with the Russian delegation in Islamabad.
“The Pakistani side will be headed by Federal Minister Sardar Ayaz Sadiq for the IGC talks,” Pakistani newspaper The News reported, citing senior officials of the energy ministry.
“For the import of Russian oil and LNG on a GtG basis, both countries need to first negotiate the IGA (inter-governmental agreement) as had been finalized and inked in the case of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project (PSGP), which was earlier called the North-South Gas pipeline project.”
Last month, Pakistan’s State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik announced that Russia had decided to provide crude oil, petrol and diesel to Pakistan on discounted rates.
Malik said Moscow had agreed to provide the quality of crude that could be used to the maximum in Pakistan.