Pakistan Welcomes Gazprom Participation in Peace Pipeline Project

TEHRAN – Energy advisor to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Tuesday said his country had called on domestic and overseas private sector to participate in the peace pipeline project and had held talks with Russian company Gazprom.

Dubbed peace pipeline, Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas line is a proposed 2,775 km pipeline project to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India. The project is expected to take three to five years to complete and will cost $7 billion.

Mukhtar Ahmed told PIN, “I am not yet certain about Gazprom’s cooperation, but it seems the company is keen to participate in the project.”

Asked whether Gazprom would likely help implement or manage the project, the official said the Russian company’s cooperation in both fields was possible.

He added foreign oil companies’ involvement in peace pipeline project would be fruitful and Gazprom, as an international company, had the capacity to pave the way for the implementation of the project.

Head of the Tehran-based office of the giant Russian company Gazprom said the laying of Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline deemed necessary as the southern Asia was in dire need of energy.

Abubakir Shomuzov talking to PIN referred to the Russian prime minister’s recent visit to Pakistan and added Russia had long relations including energy ties with Pakistan and India. 

Shomuzov voiced Gazprom’s readiness to participate in the construction and procurement of IPI pipeline.

Pakistan and India established their first oil companies in collaboration with Russia, recalled the official, adding the two countries were using the Russian-made equipment. 

“We are willing to cooperate with these two states and the IPI pipeline is one of the giant projects in which Russia can play its role,” said Shomuzov, adding the pipeline could extend to  China, where a great number of people were living there and a big market welcomed the project.

He assured that political issues would not have any impact on the implementation of IPI project, predicting that Gazprom would most likely get involve in it.

Shomuzov said the outlook of his company’s cooperation with Iran in oil and gas sectors would be very bright.

“Gazprom is keen to cooperate and participate in all stages of production and marketing of crude oil, natural gas, and other products,” he underlined.

Ahmed added his country was determined to finalize the contract for construction of Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

He told PIN Pakistan needed Iran’s gas, saying, “Participation of India in the project will be very useful, but we are intent to sign the contract under any circumstances.”

Talking about other gas supply projects of Pakistan, Ahmed said his country had been negotiating with Turkmenistan for import of liquefied natural gas, but the priority was given to the peace pipeline and gas imports from Iran.

We like to import the Iranian liquefied natural gas, but we think that Iran is not yet ready to sell liquefied natural gas to Pakistan,” he noted.

Trilateral negotiations on the peace pipeline started here Sunday in the presence of senior experts from Iran, India, and Pakistan.

IPI to Break Sanctions

Vice chairman of Energy Committee of Majlis (parliament) here Monday said peace pipeline would break anti-Iran sanctions the U.S. imposed to isolate the country.

Talking to PIN, Nasser Sudani added peace pipeline would greatly benefit Iran and the region.

“The pipeline will bolster the sincere ties between Iran, Paksitan, and India, helping the trio make joint decisions on regional issues,” he opined.

Representing the southern capital Ahvaz in Majlis, the lawmaker said, “We should not pay attention only to the project’s financial interests as the pipeline will considerably strengthen Iran’s role in the region and will help the country steer the regional issues.”

Sudani underlined that the pipeline would serve the three states’ interests and would establish desirable political and economic security in the region.

The Iranian petroleum minister’s special envoy for the peace pipeline talks assured that Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas contract would be finalized by the end of June.

Hojjatollah Ghanimifard told PIN the views of Pakistan and India on price were getting close.

“At this stage, we are negotiating on the trilateral contract and gas will be exported to India when the two states reach an agreement,” the international affairs manager of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) added.

“The deadline for finalization of the contract is June 30,” recalled the chief negotiator, expressing hope all problems would be settled by the date.

The special envoy said the last round of peace pipeline talks would be held in Pakistan, expressing hope the three states would reach an agreement on price in today’s and tomorrow’s negotiations.

In defiance of U.S. pressure and sanctions, Iran is attracting more foreign investments as its huge oil and gas reserves are a strong magnet for international energy companies.

Iran sits atop the world’s second-largest oil and gas reserves after Saudi Arabia and Russia, respectively.

The United States has frowned on deals that Asian and European oil companies have signed with Iran, but Iran has recently signed a number of gas development and production agreements worth $30 billion with Austrian energy group OMV.

Under the deal, OMV cooperates with Iran in producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) and purchases gas from the country.

News Code 105835

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