29 May 2007 - 14:29
  • News Code: 105877
Peace Pipeline Talks to Bear Fruit: MP

TEHRAN – A member of Energy Committee of Majlis (parliament) here Tuesday said the willingness of Iran, Pakistan, and India to construct peace pipeline would help the trilateral talks be finalized.

Seyed Mohsen Yahyavi told PIN the gas pipeline project had faced a delay, but the talks went well thereafter and the executive pipe-laying operations would most likely start after the underway negotiations.

Given the needs of Pakistan and India of Iranian gas, the pipeline would serve the three states’ interests, he opined.

“We are optimistic about the negotiations and the progress in talks shows that we achieve our objective,” he predicted.

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.

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.

Talking about Turkmenistan’s exporting gas to Pakistan and India, Ghanimifard said competition in gas market was completely natural, however, adding if conditions were based on logical and international norms, the contracting parties would prefer Iran.

“The initial demand of Pakistan and India for Iran’s gas amounted to 150 million cubic meters per day, but we announced that Iran had now the capacity to supply 60 million cubic meters of commodity daily and we could increase its volume in next phases,” said the official, concluding that it was natural that Pakistan was seeking a contract with Turkmenistan as Iran was not able at present to meet Pakistan’s need fully.

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.

During his last month visit to Iran, India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora underlined the necessity to sign the contract on the peace pipeline by end of June.

“The talks now hinge on agreement over the tariff to be charged by Pakistan for gas transported through its section of the pipeline for delivery at the Indian border,” said Deora.  

The minister said he did not expect there to be any major delays in signing a full sales and purchase agreement. “The commercial agreement is nearly complete -- we are working very sincerely,” he said.

The project is expected to greatly benefit both India and Pakistan, which do not have sufficient natural gas to meet their rapidly increasing domestic demand for energy. India is predicted to require 400 million cubic meters of gas per day by 2025, up from 90 million cubic meters per day in 2005.


News Code 105877

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