In the wake of New Delhi’s decision to allow Pakistani investments, Islamabad has asked India to register its oil marketing companies (OMCs) with Pakistan State Oil to take part in spot tenders for supply of petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, furnace oil and pet coke.
Pakistan is ready to import petroleum products and explore the possibility of opening up a land route for the purpose. “There is a good possibility of supplying petrol by road, through the Wagah border, as well as by rail. Pakistan is looking at sending trucks for loading… at Indian Oil Corporation’s Jalandhar terminal and the newly commissioned Bhatinda refinery. The logistics for loading and movement of such large quantity [of petrol] will be a big challenge,” a Petroleum Ministry official said.
Indian companies feel that complying with diesel quality norms of Pakistan will be a challenge as Islamabad gets the product from other sources at cheaper rates.
Indian Oil Corporation has indicated that it can supply furnace oil on a free-on-truck basis from Mathura. “The product could be supplied by road, rail and sea to the Karachi port. We are confident of meeting their demand,” the official said.
Pakistan has also highlighted the opportunity for India in supplying pet coke to its cement plants, besides trade in lubricants and lube base oils and enhanced supply of petrochemicals.
Furthermore, at the second meeting in Islamabad early this month of the expert group on electricity, it was decided to study the feasibility of India exporting 500 MW to Pakistan. Some private players, along with public sector companies, have approached Pakistan with an offer.
“We need to work out the landed cost of power and also the mechanism that will allow this to be done. All this will be covered in the feasibility study, of which findings are likely to be placed at the meeting of the expert group, which is likely to be held in New Delhi in October,” a senior official of the Power Ministry said.