Pakistan is considering a proposal to limit oil imports from India to 5-10 per cent of the total requirement till confidence-building measures between the two countries take root,according to a media report today.
Pakistan’s total oil imports currently stand at around USD 14.5 billion and annual imports of petroleum products from India will not be allowed to exceed USD 1.5 billion at the initial stage,a government official told the Dawn newspaper.
The two countries are in discussions on the issue of import of petroleum products,including liquefied natural gas,from India.
“The proposal is to start importing between 5-10 per cent of total oil requirement from India because we have to be cautious and careful in dealing with oil supply security and dependability issues,” the unnamed official was quoted as saying.
The two sides are exploring the possibility of LNG supplies from India that could be transported through bowsers and tankers via land route as this could provide relief to bulk consumers in Pakistan’s Punjab province,particularly around Lahore and Faisalabad,the official said.
The two countries have formed working groups for negotiations on pricing and modes of transportation as early as possible. This decision was made during three-day talks between the Petroleum Secretaries in New Delhi in March.
Subsequently,Islamabad proposed dates for a dialogue that were not acceptable to New Delhi,while dates proposed by India were inconvenient to Pakistani authorities.
The two sides are expected to meet sometime during May,the report said.