Pakistan has asked India to compete in tenders floated by Pakistan State Oil (PSO) for oil supply through land route.
According to media reports India has shown interest in entering into an arrangement with Pakistan like the long-term agreement it has with Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC).
Media reports said that Pakistan asked Indian authorities in recent talks in New Delhi to participate in PSO tenders for oil supply through land route of Wagah, which is currently not allowed. Sources said the petroleum ministry had asked the commerce ministry to allow import of petroleum products via land route.
“India has agreed to participate in oil import tenders,” a source said. Pakistan is interested in importing petrol, diesel and furnace oil. However, it will meet only additional oil requirements from India and will continue to import from the Gulf countries, including Kuwait.
A government official said imports from India would not be more than 20% to 25% because of security considerations. Pakistan wanted to keep other sources of oil supply open, so that it could get oil from them if India stopped shipments in case of some tension, he said. In case of a long-term supply contract, India had offered to lay an oil pipeline from its territory to Pakistan’s border to meet entire fuel requirements of the neighbour.
“Now, the pipeline plan has been shelved,” the official said and pointed out that India would be able to provide oil at cheaper rates only if transportation charges were less than the cost of shipment from Gulf countries. At present, there is no ban on import of petroleum products from India through sea route, but import of liquids including oil products through land is not allowed.
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