Pakistan determined to launch IP Pipeline

17 November 2011
Pakistani foreign minister underlined her country's resolve to accomplish a multibillion-dollar gas pipeline project with Iran, saying that Islamabad has to pursue all natural gas pipeline options, including those with Iran, if it's to make up for an energy deficit.

Referring to the meeting of Turkmen President and his Pakistani counterpart on the development of the western-backed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline, Hina Rabbani Khar said that doesn't mean Islamabad is giving up on Iranian pipeline.

"We are energy deficient and we are pro-actively pursuing access to gas which includes the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline," Fars News Agency quoted her as saying.

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov arrived in Islamabad on Monday to meet as if Ali Zardari. Both sides during their meeting focused on expanding trade relationships and hastening the development of the western-backed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline.

Tehran has almost completed construction of its part of the pipeline from the giant South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf to the border with Pakistan.

According to the project proposal, the pipeline will begin from Asalouyeh Energy Zone in the south and stretch over 1,100 kilometers through Iran. In Pakistan, it will pass through Balochistan and Sindh but officials now say the route may be changed if China agrees to the project. The gas will be supplied from the South Par field.

The initial capacity of the pipeline will be 22 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum, which is expected to rise to 55 billion cubic meters. The project will cost $7.4 billion.

Meanwhile, deputy oil minister said on Wednesday that Pakistan Government has handed over its request to import more natural gas from Iran. Javad Oji said in the last two months Pakistan asked for a boost in gas exports in 2014, so that in 2014, Iran increases gas supply from the former decided 21.5 million cubic meters per day to 30 million cubic meters per day.

© Iran Daily 2011

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