Iran, Pakistan sign new agreement on gas project: Report
A major deal for exports of gas from Iran to Pakistan has been revised after several years of uncertainty surrounding the project, shows a report in the Pakistani media.
The Express Tribune said in a Monday report that national gas companies from Iran and Pakistan had inked an agreement to revise the terms of an old deal meant for exports of gas from Iran which had been supposed to be implemented by 2015.
The deal had stalled mainly because Pakistan was unable to construct a pipeline through its territory to transfer the Iranian gas to the port of Karachi. Islamabad was also unwilling to pay compensation for its delay, saying it had been caused by sanctions imposed on Iran.
The report said the Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS) of Pakistan and the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) had agreed to allow Pakistan to finish construction of the pipeline in its territory until 2024.
It cited sources as saying that Iran would not sue Pakistan for a fresh delay beyond 2024 unlike the previous contract under which Iran had threatened Islamabad with legal action. There was no comment on the report from the Iranian officials.
It said the two companies would seek to devise solutions for completion of the project which would enable Pakistan to import 750 million cubic feet of gas per day from Iran.
Based on the terms of the previous deal, Pakistan had been supposed to complete its section of the gas pipeline within 22 months after construction activities kicked off in March 2013.
However, Pakistan later backtracked from the commitment and officials said that sanctions imposed on Iran had made it impossible for the country to build the 1,600-kilometer pipeline.
Iran has almost completed its sides of the pipeline which starts from installations of the South Pars gas field located on the Persian Gulf port of Asaluyeh and runs 1,172 kilometers through two provinces to reach the Pakistani border.