Saudi Arabia is set to buy shares in Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), two of the country’s biggest energy companies, in a major move to strengthen Pakistan’s energy industry and strengthen economic ties. Additionally, the Reko Diq project in Pakistan—one of the largest undeveloped copper and gold reserves in the world—is reportedly going to receive a $1 billion injection from Saudi Arabia.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has taken proactive measures by forming a high-level committee tasked with overseeing the investment process for Reko Diq. This committee, comprised of representatives from the Finance Ministry and key officials from OGDCL and PPL, is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia in the near future to conduct negotiations at the government level and solidify the agreement between the two countries.

In a November 2023 interview, Barrick Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow expressed support for Saudi Arabia’s potential acquisition of partial ownership in Reko Diq through an equity purchase with the Pakistan government. Bristow highlighted that such decisions are ultimately in the hands of the Pakistan government, emphasizing Barrick’s commitment to supporting any agreements made in collaboration with Saudi Arabia.

The Reko Diq project, located in the Baluchistan region bordering Afghanistan and Iran, boasts significant potential, capable of producing 200,000 tons of copper and 250,000 ounces of gold annually for over 50 years. Currently, Barrick holds a 50% stake in the project, with Pakistan’s federal government and the Balochistan regional government owning 25% and the remaining percentage, respectively.

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