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Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline deal signed
Monday, June 14, 2010 07:55:57 PM, Agencies
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Islamabad: A year after they decided to go ahead with the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project without India, the two countries finally inked the last of a series of agreements needed to operationalise the deal.
With the signing of the export deal in Tehran, Iran has now committed itself to supplying natural gas to Pakistan from 2014.
"Pakistan will have intake of the fist flow of Iranian piped gas in its system by mid-2014 and 100 per cent flow (750 million cubic feet gas per day) by end of 2015 under the IP gas pipeline", said Naeem Sharafat, Managing Director of Inter-State Gas Company while speaking to reporting.
The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline sovereign guarantee agreement that is landmark for Pakistan as it is facing fuel deficiency was signed in Islamabad on May 28, 2010 Friday late in the evening.
“The imported gas volume is nearly 20% of Pakistan’s current gas production and the supply is for a contracted period of 25 years, renewable for another 5 years", he said.
The agreement was signed by S.R. Kasaezadeh, Managing Director National Iranian Oil Company, and Irshad Kaleemi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources on behalf of the Government of Pakistan. Minister for Petroleum Naveed Qamar and Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources Kamran Lashari also witnessed the ceremony.
Sharafat said that the Government of Pakistan had extended the sovereign guarantee against the Performance Guarantee and liabilities of the Inter-State Gas Company, which is responsible for the IP gas line project on behalf of Pakistan.
After the signing of the last document, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) will issue to Pakistan a letter mentioning that Pakistan has completed all conditions precedents (CPs). For additional 250 mmcft gas per day, the cost of the gas will be equal to the cost of 750 mmcfd gas for which the agreement has been inked, as there exists a provision in the agreement.
“Pakistan will lay pipeline from Point 250 Kms at Pak-Iran border under segmented approach while Iran will itself lay pipeline from Paras gas field to Point 250 Kms", he said.
Originally conceived in the mid-1990s, the pipeline was to be a three-nation venture that extended right up to India. According to the initial design of the project, the 2,700 Kms long pipeline would cover around 1,100 Kms in Iran, 1000 Kms in Pakistan and around 600 Kms in India, and the size of the pipeline was estimated to be 56 inches in diameter.
Security considerations and inability to come to an understanding with Pakistan over transmission charges saw India waver time and again over joining the project amid speculation of New Delhi also coming under Washington pressure not to do business with Tehran. Finally, Iran and Pakistan decided to enter into a bilateral agreement in May 2009.
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