Pakistani Official Dismisses Change in Route of IP Gas Pipeline
TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Pakistani official on Tuesday rejected any potential change in the route of a multi-billion-dollar pipeline, supplying Iran's rich gas reserves to the energy-hungry south-Asian nation.
Secretary of the Petroleum Ministry Salim Mahmoud Salim told Urdu daily "Pakistan" that Islamabad will not bow to the pressures exerted by foreign states on Islamabad in connection with the gas pipeline project.
The pipeline would enter Pakistan from its border near Gwadar in southwestern Balochistan to Nawabshah in southern Sindh, which is the hub of gas pipelines in the country.
Salim reiterated that that supply of gas from Iran to Pakistan will start at the scheduled time in 2013, adding that under the agreement Pakistan is not allowed to sell the gas to any third party.
The minister further mentioned that the gas supplied by Iran through the pipeline would only be used in power generation.
The gas pipeline deal was signed by Iranian and Pakistani officials in Istanbul, Turkey in May.
The 2700-kilometer long pipeline was to supply gas for Pakistan and India which are suffering a lack of energy sources, but India has evaded talks. Last year Iran and Pakistan then declared they would finalize the agreement bilaterally if India continued to be absent in meetings.
In a major breakthrough on March 20, the Pakistani government approved Iran's proposed pricing formula for gas supplies to the South Asian nation.
According to the project proposal, the pipeline will begin from Iran's Assalouyeh Energy Zone in the south and stretch over 1,100 km through Iran. In Pakistan, it will pass through Baluchistan and Sindh but officials now say the route may be changed if China agrees to the project.
The gas will be supplied from the South Pars field. The initial capacity of the pipeline will be 22 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum, which is expected to be later raised to 55 billion cubic meters. It is expected to cost $7.4 billion.