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Govt confident of no gas crisis in winter despite failing in LNG spot buying


KARACHI: The coalition government is confident that there would be no gas crisis in the ming winter despite the fact that the Pakistan LNG Limited’s (PLL) has failed to attract suppliers in its bid to purchase six shipments for October to December.

It is the recently-sealed government-to-government agreement with Azerbaijan that, according to the government, is enough to meet the country’s needs.

Under this agreement, Baku will supply one shipment every month to Islamabad, with the buyer enjoying the option to accept or reject the offer as per its requirements.

It is in addition to what Pakistan’s LNG imports are from Qatar under two separate agreements – a development that should calm the nerves down in the country. That’s why State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik told media a day earlier that the latest agreement would end gas crisis in the country.

Azerbaijan’s state-owned trading company SOCAR through its Pakistani counterpart PLL would supply a LNG cargo each month to Pakistan at a cheaper price than the global price at that time.

Maik also spoke about the crude import from Russia, dispelling the claims made on social media that the oil from Russia was shipped from India.

According to the state minister, the Russian crude will be refined by the Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) in a trial run. Other market players – Pak-Arab Refinery (Parco) and private refineries – would also start receiving the shipments.

The imported fuel could be used after blending with Arabian light crude with a ratio of around 30 to 35 per cent, which means that the Russian crude could account for one-third of Pakistan’s fuel needs, experts say.

However, the state minister said Parco put the blending ratio at 25-30pc, adding that a private refinery put the blending percentage of Russian oil with the Arabia light crude to 70-80pc.

Earlier on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Pakistan had failed to secure LNG from the spot market for six shipments in its first attempt in about a year as no supplier was interested in the offer.

The PLL had issued two tenders – one seeking six cargoes in October and December with the delivery windows of Oct 5-6, 20-21 and 31, and Dec 7-8, 13-14 and 24-25. The tender will close on June 20.

Meanwhile, the second tender, closing on July 14, seeks three cargoes delivery windows of January 3-4, 28-29 and February 23-24.

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