Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline talks on 29th and 30th
By Khalid Mustafa
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran are ready to negotiate the newly proposed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline on December 29 and 30 in Islamabad, an official source told Daily Times.
There was previously a proposal to lay a Pak-Iran-India gas pipeline, but owing to a blatant refusal by India, Iran offered the gas line to Pakistan during the recent visit of Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who accepted the offer.
There are reports emanating from Iran that India might be ready for the Pak-Iran-India gas pipeline. However, sources in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said Iran had not officially informed Pakistan about India’s willingness.
Experts from Pakistan and Iran at the two-day meeting would deliberate on prospects of the Pak-Iran gas pipeline. Sources said Iran would also share the onshore feasibility study of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline by an international oil company, Broken Hills and Proprietary (BHP). Sources said the BHP submitted its feasibility study to Iran on the proposed US $3billion Iran to India gas pipeline.
Sources said Pakistan had yet not decided to materialise any of the gas pipeline projects as there were three options available — the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan, the Pak-Iran and the Qatar-Pakistan gas pipelines. Pakistan would be able to decide as to which project suits it after reading feasibility studies of the three projects, sources said.
“Iran, under its earlier proposal wanted the completion of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline in two phases — pipeline from Iran to Pakistan in Phase-1 and from Pakistan to India in Phase-2,” sources said. “Iran had asked Pakistan to give commitment as to how much gas it would purchase from Iran after the completion of Phase-1.”
Source said Pakistan had replied in the negative, saying it was not in a position to give any commitment to Iran since it was assessing all gas pipeline projects before making a decision.
Pakistan has an undertaking to purchase the gas under the TAP project,” sources said, but expressed their inability to tell the exact volume of gas Pakistan would purchase.