Pakistan wants to buy cheaper Russian crude oil but unable to refine it efficiently
Despite technical complications, Islamabad still intends to expand energy imports, the Taimur Fahad Khan said, adding that it is still interested in purchasing Russian crude oil.
Pakistan’s oil refining plants lack the technical capacity to process medium grades of crude oil, such as Russia’s Urals, though Islamabad plans to upgrade them, said Research Associate at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad Muhammad Taimur Fahad Khan.
The existing oil refining plants in Pakistan lack the technical capacity for processing medium grades of oil, such as Russia’s Urals, whose API density totals around 31-33 degrees. In refining a pilot batch of Russian crude oil, more heating oil, was produced compared with such high-priced petrochemical products as gasoline, diesel fuel, high-octane fuel and more.
Considering a low domestic demand for heating fuel, plants in Pakistan were forced to cut its total production and suspend refining of Russia’s crude oil to reduce production costs overall and avoid creating a surplus of this petroleum product on the market.
Despite technical complications, Islamabad still intends to expand energy imports, the expert said, adding that it is still interested in purchasing Russian crude oil.
In order to use it more efficiently, the country’s authorities plan to adapt the national oil refining sector to Russian commodities. Options for upgrading Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) and National Refinery Limited (NRL) are being worked out now.
Moreover, another ‘advanced processing’ refining complex may be constructed. Consequently, Pakistan will be able to satisfy its fast-growing demand in the coming years,
A News newspaper reported earlier that a delegation of Pakistan’s energy ministry headed by Interim Minister Muhammad Ali will arrive in Russia for a three-day visit on October 10.
The ministry’s representatives will participate in the conference on energy cooperation that will take place in Moscow, as well as hold bilateral consultations with Russian partners on concluding long-term contracts for supply of oil and liquefied natural gas.
It is also planned to discuss investment cooperation on the construction of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline.