Iran neither eyes fining nor canceling gas deal with Pakistan
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.22
By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:
Iran's deputy oil minister says this country does not recognize fining Pakistan or canceling the gas deal with it due to long delays of construction of the pipeline in Pakistani land.
After sealing a new LNG supplement agreement between Qatar and Pakistan in one side and signing agreements between Pakistan and China to establish an LNG terminals and construction of 700 km pipeline from Gwadar Port to Nawabshah, the Deputy of Iran's Oil Minister Amir hossein Zamani Nia told Mehr News Agency on April 22 that Iran currently has enough gas client and don't need Pakistan, but regarding the heavy costs of construction the 7th cross-country pipeline in Iranian side, Tehran hopes Pakistan would commit its obligations based on agreement.
State-run Gulf energy company Qatargas is in the final stages of talks on a deal to supply Pakistan with 3 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually for 15 years, Reuters reported on Feb.18.
A shipment of 147,000 cubic feet of LNG from Qatar arrived at the Karachi anchorage in a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) in March.
Pakistan and China signed an $46 billion agreement during President Xi Jinping's visit to Islamabad on Monday. A framework agreement between Pakistan and China for Gwadar-Nawabshah gas pipeline and Gwadar LNG terminal was inked as well. It's expected that China build a LNG terminal and Gwadar and construct a pipeline from there to Nawabshah with putting $3 billion investment.
Zamani Nia said that Pakistan's gas demands are more than the volume specified on agreement with Qatar and Iran hopes that Pakistan would take Iranian gas as well.
Iran and Pakistan signed a gas agreement under former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamadinejad, which according to, Pakistan was set to import 22 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d) of natural gas from Iran as of 2015. But because of finance problems, Pakistan has not yet managed to establish its section of the pipeline.
Based on the agreement, Pakistan was also supposed to pay $200 million to Iran each month as penalty for delays in implementing the project.
Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said last September that Pakistan because it is suffering from finance problems has asked Iran not to penalize it for the delay. According to him, negotiations on this issue are still underway.