Iran to start pumping gas to Pakistan next year

Tehran: Tehran’s Envoy to Islamabad Mashallah Shakeri announced that Iran would start pumping gas to Pakistan as early as next year, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported on Wednesday. “If desired, Pakistan can connect with the pipeline next year,” he added.

He said Iranian government has constructed the pipeline on war footing just to facilitate Pakistan. Shakeri, who is in his fifth year as Tehran’s envoy to Islamabad, said his country is earnestly and sincerely desirous of providing gas to Pakistan.

Islamabad said early this year it has intensified work on multi-billion-dollar pipeline project which is due to bring Iran’s gas to Pakistan. Work on Iran-Pak Gas Pipeline is progressing and National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) signed an agreement with a German Company to place the pipeline.

On March 20, 2009, Pakistan government approved Iran’s proposed pricing formula for gas supplies to Islamabad. Subsequently, Tehran and Islamabad signed a final agreement to launch implementation of the project. Both countries also sealed a final contract for start of Iran’s gas exports to Pakistan through multi-billion-dollar pipeline in spring 2014.

The last annex of agreement for export of Iran’s gas to Pakistan was signed on June 13 by Iran’s Oil Minister Masood Mir-Kazzemi and Managing Director of Pakistan’s Inter-State Gas Company Naeem Sharafat.

The 2700-kilometer long pipeline was to supply gas for Pakistan & India which are suffering lack of energy sources, but India has evaded talks, Fars report said. Last year Iran & Pakistan said they will finalize agreement bilaterally if India continued to be absent in meetings.

According to project proposal, pipeline will begin from Iran’s Assalouyeh Energy Zone in the south and stretch over 1,100km through Iran. In Pakistan, it will pass through Balochistan & Sindh provinces. Gas will be supplied from South Pars field. Initial capacity of pipeline will be 22 billion cubic meters of gas per annum, which is expected to be later raised to 55 billion cubic meters. It is expected to cost $7.4 billion.

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