News : Economy
- Published: Saturday, 29 March 2014
Shaheed Khaqan Abbassi, the Pakistani Minister of Oil and Natural Resources who was speaking to the parliament on Friday, March 28, said: “The gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan is under international sanctions and even if it is completed it is impossible to buy gas from Iran.”
IRGC news agency of Tasnim reported that “this pipeline was first expected to provide for the gas consumption in Pakistan and India, but due to the sanctions on Iran, India leaved the project. On the other hand, Pakistan is also facing financial and political problems in completing this project”.
Negotiations on this pipeline started back in the 1990s between Iran and India which eventually led to an agreement in 2009. At the time, there were serious negotiations concerning export of gas to India via an underwater pipeline without any participation from Pakistan. Following preliminary assessments of the plan, both the Iranian and the Indian sides concluded that the cost for an underwater pipeline is exorbitant and given the technology of the time, next to impossible. So we got to the land pipeline of Iran-Pakistan-India. At the outset, this pipeline was expected to pump 150 million cubic meters of gas from Southern Pars Project to these countries such that 60 million would be consumed by Pakistan and the rest by India.
In recent years, given the international sanctions on the Iranian regime, Pakistan delayed the construction of the pipeline until Shaheed Khaqan Abbassi, the Pakistani Oil Minister, announced that this project is not on the table at the moment. He went on to say that had there been no sanctions, this pipeline could have been completed in three years, but due to the seriousness of the sanctions, the government of Pakistan cannot cooperate on this project at the present time.
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