31 May 2007 - 12:08
  • News Code: 106012
Peace Pipeline Project Progress Hits 30%

TEHRAN -- The seventh gas pipeline aimed to export gas to Pakistan and India has progressed 30 percent.

According to the schedule, the project will end by December 2008.

At the first stage, the project aims to lay 902 km-long pipeline from Assaluyeh port to Iranshahr, passing through Bushehr, Hormuzgan, Fars, and Kerman provinces and ending in Sistan-Baluchestan province.

The 265km-long Iranshahr-Pakistan pipeline will help export Iran"s gas to India, according to Mehr.

The peace pipeline is a proposed 2,775km gas 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.

Tehran, Islamabad and New Delhi are holding formal talks in Tehran to finalize construction of the pipeline, which is to take Iran’s gas to India through Pakistan.

At the beginning of the first round of negotiations, Indian and Pakistani officials answered questions posed by reporters on positions taken by their relevant countries on the project.

Iran"s chief negotiator in the talks said the project demonstrates Iran"s significant role at regional and international levels.

Hojjatollah Ghanimifard told reporters that Iran, which has the world"s largest gas reserves after Russia, has decided to implement dozens of other projects to export its gas to regional countries and beyond.

Ghanimifard, who represents Iran in the negotiations, said the finalization of the price agreement will pave the way for further talks over the administrative operations of the ambitious project.

"We hope to reach an agreement on the price in Tehran," Mehr news agency quoted him as saying. He added the final draft of the agreement would likely be ready by June 30.

"It is natural that the three nations would consider their own interests in the talks. However, they should reach a consensus based on international criteria," Ghanimifard

concluded.

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.

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.

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 106012

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