Iran still waiting for Pakistan to act on joint pipeline project

Oil&Gas Materials 17 May 2019 14:20 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, May 17


The multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan pipeline project still remains undone, while Iran is becoming impatient with Islamabad's claims the US sanctions are limiting its commitment to the deal.

"If the issue of US sanctions regarding Pakistan is resolved, importing gas from Iran would be the easiest way for this country," said the CEO of National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) Mehran Amir Moeini, Trend reports citing ILNA .

"The Pakistani side has not made an efforts to build a pipeline yet, therefore currently we do not export anything there," he added.

"Iran has built the pipeline to the border, but Pakistan hasn't made any decisions to import gas so far. After the signing of the IP agreement, we haven't received any positive steps from Islamabad. They claim the sanctions and lack of financing are the reason for the suspension," said Moeini.

He reminded that Iran has stated several times that it is ready to export gas within six months after Pakistan sets up the pipeline on its soil.

"But it seems that even if Pakistan starts to do something today, it would take some 2 years to complete the project," he said.

The deal states that in case any side fails to complete the pipeline installation on its soil before the deadline, it should pay a $3-million compensation.

Pakistan and Iran signed the agreement in 2009 and the project had to be completed by December 2014. For years, the two neighbors have been struggling to complete the gas pipeline to help resolve Pakistan’s mounting electricity problems.

The CEO of National Iranian Gas Company Hossein Torbati recently commented on possible complaint against Pakistan over IP gas pipeline.

"We have not filed for a complaint against Pakistan, there have been joint visits between Iran and Pakistan officials and it seems the cooperation is moving forward. Iran has the network and is ready to transfer gas to Pakistan but the pipeline in Pakistan is not completed yet."

The Iran-Pakistan pipeline project - also called Peace Pipeline - is a 1,957-kilometer pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Iran’s South Pars fields to Pakistan's two major cities -- Karachi and Multan.

Tehran has fulfilled its commitment regarding the construction of the gas pipeline inside Iranian territory (1,172 km pipeline from Asalouyeh to the joint border) and is waiting for Islamabad to do its share and complete the remaining 785 km on its territory.

The Pakistani ambassador recently dismissed media reports that Islamabad has walked away from the IP (Iran-Pakistan) gas pipeline project, slamming them as “unfounded rumors”.