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First vessel carrying Russian oil reaches Karachi

KARACHI: In a first, a vessel carrying Russian oil has finally reached Karachi on Sunday, ahead of very severe cyclonic storm Biparjoy.

In April, Pakistan placed its first order for discounted Russian crude oil under a new deal signed between Islamabad and Moscow, Geo News reported.

Russian vessel Pure Point — a 183-meter-long oil tanker — carrying 45,000 metric tonnes of oil docked at birth number 4 at the port. Pakistan was initially expecting the vessel from Russia to arrive in Oman on May 27-28.

A Russian cargo vessel carrying 100,000 tonnes of crude oil was behind schedule and reached the Omani port of Duqm on June 7.

“The vessel, which was loaded with Ural crude on April 21 at a Russian port, was delayed for 10 days due to technical reasons,” the official added.

“It then arrived at Egypt’s Suez Canal on May 17, where it waited in a long queue for 12 days to cross the canal.”

The remaining 50,000 tonnes of Russian crude will be transported to Port Qasim on June 20. The authorities had said they will ensure the safe and smooth arrival of the Russian crude. The officials had said the delay in the arrival of Russian crude oil was due to logistical challenges.

“The delay in the arrival of the cargo will not increase the transportation cost as it is already settled with the Russians,” he had said. “However, if the price of crude oil in the meanwhile goes down, it will be detrimental to the country.” Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) will refine the test cargo of Russian crude oil, blending it with crude imported from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Aramco.

PRL has been assigned to submit the test report to the government on the quality, yields, and commercial viability of the oil. The test cargo will also help the government to assess the transportation costs, refining costs, and margins for refineries.

Pakistan imports 70% of its crude oil, which is refined by PRL, National Refinery Limited, Pak Arab Refinery Limited, and Byco Petroleum. The remaining 30% is locally produced and refined by local refineries, including Attock Refinery Limited.

The move comes as Pakistan is looking to diversify its sources of oil imports amid rising global prices. Russia is a major producer of crude oil and has offered the country discounted prices on its oil. The payment for the Russian crude will be made in yuan through the Bank of China. 

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