ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ghulam Sarwar Khan has sought to quash speculations that China has concerns over the Saudi Arabian plans to set up an oil refinery in the port city of Gwadar.

Speaking informally to journalists in Islamabad, the minister said he had met the Chinese ambassador in Pakistan who welcomed Saudi participation in the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Khan said the existing LNG import agreements could not be revoked, though they could be reviewed after a period of 10 years. “The government would facilitate, if the private sector wants to import LNG,” he added.

He added that the Pakistan government had completed its homework for a review of the LNG import agreement with Qatar. “Prime Minister Imran Khan would take up the matter with the Qatari officials during his upcoming visit,” he said, adding that he would also be accompanying the prime minister and that they would try to secure a better price tag.

Khan said the PTI government would not make a U-turn on projects of national importance. He hoped that the judiciary would also not issue stay orders on projects of national importance.

The minister said that 70% of CPEC projects were related to energy, while there was not a single project related to petroleum. “We are paying for the agreements negotiated by the previous government,” he added. “If a government comes to power for five years, but it negotiates projects for 15 years, then this would naturally create doubts.”