MOSCOW: Independent Russian oil refiner Forteinvest has clinched a deal that will see Russian gasoline sent to Pakistan by land for the first time, two industry sources said on Friday, as Russian refiners seek alternative markets for motor fuels days before an EU import ban.
Forteinvest has sold to a trader an initial 1,000-tonne lot of gasoline from its Orsk plant for delivery to Pakistan and has more requests to supply gasoline, diesel and LPG to the country, the sources added.
The refined products will be shipped from the Orsk refinery in Russia’s Orenburg region near the Kazakhstan border to Afganistan by rail and reloaded into tank trucks for delivery to Pakistan, as Russia and Pakistan don’t have direct rail connections, the sources said.
The move comes days ahead of a new set of Western sanctions, as G7 countries, and the 27-nation EU as a whole, seek to limit Russia’s revenue from oil exports without disrupting world supply.
A price cap on imported Russian oil products is due to come into force on Feb. 5, along with an EU import ban on Russia’s refined products
Russia could start exporting oil to energy-starved Pakistan after March if terms are agreed, Russia’s energy minister said on Jan. 20.
Russia will sell crude, petrol and diesel oil to Pakistan at discounted prices, Pakistan’s state minister for petroleum said in December, days after he led a government team to Moscow to negotiate the deal. Pakistan’s foreign minister is due to hold talks in Moscow on Monday.
Historically, Pakistan has had no major commercial energy ties with Moscow. It currently depends on oil from Gulf countries, which often extend facilities such as deferred payments and can supply with lower transport costs, given Pakistan’s proximity.
In 2022, Russia shipped to Afganistan by rail some 120,000 tonnes of gasoline from Orsk, Omsk, Salavat, Taneko and TAIF oil refineries, as well as some 41,000 tonnes of diesel of Belarusian origin and from Russian oil depots. Russia has also exported to the country some 104,000 tonnes of LPG, rail data shows.