The Pakistani government is seeking finance for its natural gas pipeline from Iran as not many are interested in backing the project, given the threat of U.S. sanctions.
Tehran has already offered $ 500 million — out of a total of $ 2 billion required to complete it.Islamabad says it needs the rest. Federal minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told The Hindu on Thursday that in this situation, only Iran could raise that amount. He added that Pakistan has asked for a meeting and is yet to hear from Iran. Conceived in the 1990s as a “peace pipeline” the project initially had India on board and was scheduled to be completed by December 2014. Iran, which has finished most of the work on its side, has expressed concern over Pakistan’s delay in starting work. The 780 km stretch from South Balochistan to Nawabshah or Shahid Benazirabad is Pakistan’s share of the pipeline. According to a 2010 agreement with Iran, Pakistan is expecting 750 million cubic feet of gas which could be scaled up to one billion cubic feet a day (BCFD) from the project. This, along with the proposed Trans Afghanistan Pipeline or TAPI pipeline, in which India is also involved, should be able to meet its requirement of 2 BCFD.
The Iran pipeline could be one of the issues discussed with U.S. President Obama when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visits him on October 23.