Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 28 /Trend/
The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project will be completed by 2013, one year ahead of schedule, Pakistani Petroleum Minister Asim Hussain said, the Express Tribune reported on Friday.
"First gas flow is targeted by the end of 2014," Hussain said.
He noted that the estimated cost of the project is $1.5 billion, but the figure will be confirmed after completion of a bankable feasibility study.
"Initial information for financing the project has been provided for international investors from China, Russia and the Middle East," Hussain said.
In June 2009, Tehran and Islamabad signed a 25-year agreement, commencing from February 2014, based on which Iran agreed to export 7.8 billion cubic meters of its natural gas annually to Pakistan through the gas pipeline between two countries.
In mid-October, Hossein Bidarmaghz, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) has announced Iran's readiness to start the gas exports even prior to the agreed timeline.
According to the NIGEC chief, Iran has completed 800 km of the 960-km Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, and the remaining 160 km can be laid by the next year; therefore, the country can even start sending natural gas to Pakistan in 2012.
Iran ranks second in the world in natural gas resources after Russia with available gas reserves estimated at over 33 trillion cubic meters.
Edited by T.Konyayeva.