Political Consensus Needed to Set Up $12 Billion Aramco Refinery Unit in Pakistan

The establishment of the $12 billion oil refinery in Pakistan hinges on political consensus, cabinet approval, and restrictive conditions proposed by Saudi Aramco.

Following the visit of Pakistan’s Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik to Saudi Arabia, the Pakistani side has teamed up with Saudi authorities to expedite all decisions in this regard, reported Business Recorder.

The Pakistan ambassador has proposed the oil refinery project, as undertaken by Malik, in support of the terms and conditions proposed by Aramco. Once a decision has been made, Pakistan should notify the Saudi authorities in writing.

The Saudi Minister of Investment has asked that the matter is tabled before Parliament in order to develop broad political consensus and ownership of the oil refinery project, but the Pakistani side argued that the idea of parliamentary approval should be reconsidered.

The Pakistan Embassy, according to the ambassador, is already in contact with the focal person named by the Minister of Energy. The ambassador suggested to Islamabad that the embassy be kept informed of developments in the oil refinery project. During the meeting with Deputy Minister for Investments Badar al-Badar, Islamabad agreed to share project briefs and teasers with the Saudi side for consideration.

During his visit to Saudi Arabia, Musadik Malik informed Aramco as well as the Saudi Ministers of Investment, Energy, and Minerals and Investments that the premier had given approval for agreeing to all terms and conditions set by Aramco to make the project economically viable.

The decision to accept Aramco’s terms would be presented to the Cabinet, with a favorable outcome expected within a few weeks. He proposed that both parties form a high-level committee to finalize project details and address any outstanding issues.

Saudi Ministers welcomed Pakistan’s decision and indicated that they hoped to receive formal Cabinet approval. They emphasized that the Kingdom was also eager to implement this project as the project’s economics were critical.

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