Iran, Pakistan seal gas pipeline deal
TEHRAN (MEHR - Trend )
Iran and Pakistan officially exchanged documents related to the contract on the exports of Iranian gas to Pakistan, putting the finishing touch to the deal in Istanbul on Friday.
National Iranian Gas Export Company Managing Director Seyyed Reza Kasaiizadeh and Pakistan's Inter-State Gas Systems CEO Seyyed Hassan Nawab exchanged the contract documents in a third country as the deal has stipulated, IRIB reported.
The issues of financing and construction will be taken care of this year, he said, adding the project would be completed in 2013, and Pakistan would get supply of the gas soon after completion of the project, The Nation website of Pakistan reported.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari inked an agreement in Tehran on May 23, finalizing the deal to transfer gas from Iran to Pakistan.
According to the deal, Iran will initially transfer 30 million cubic meters of gas per day to Pakistan, but will eventually increase the gas transfer to 60 million cubic meters per day.
The Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project was conceptualized in 1990. Negotiations over the project were initiated in 1994 between the three countries but there were obstacles to closing the three-way deal due to tension between India and Pakistan, according to IRNA.
India has not participated in the last several rounds of talks, but Iran has encouraged India to rejoin the process.
The IPI gas pipeline is a proposed 2,775-kilometer pipeline to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India.
The project is expected to greatly benefit India and Pakistan, which do not have sufficient natural gas to meet their rapidly increasing domestic demand for energy.