Oil Ministry Denies Termination of IP Pipeline Deal

Oil Ministry Denies Termination of IP Pipeline Deal
Oil Ministry Denies Termination of IP Pipeline Deal

The oil ministry denied a recent report suggesting that Tehran has unilaterally ended government-to-government cooperation agreement with Pakistan on a gas pipeline project, saying that despite some disaccords between the two governments, there exists close cooperation to push the project forward.

It referred to the combined efforts of the two countries for construction of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline, adding that any report suggesting termination of the cooperation is “entirely untrue,” Shana news agency reported.

Regardless of some disagreements neither party wishes for a unilateral termination of the agreement, it added.

An upcoming visit by high-ranking Pakistani delegation to Iran, which was proposed by Islamabad, to accelerate the process of making the project operational, is evidence that the report is groundless, said the ministry.

Referring to copies of official documents the Pakistani news paper Daily Times claimed that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources in Islamabad had informed the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) that Iran unilaterally ended cooperation agreement with Pakistan and is not even prepared to offer $500 million for the construction of the long-awaited IP gas pipeline project.

 However, on Oct 2, the ECC had approved ‘fast track’ construction of 710km Gwadar to Nawabshah gas pipeline and LNG terminal at Gwadar port as an alternate plan to facilitate Iran-Pakistan pipeline and transport liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Pakistani Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar while attending World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in Washington informed his Iranian counterpart, Ali Tayyebnia, that the government had approved the 700-kilometer section of the pipeline from Gwadar to Nawabshah and that Pakistan was considering various alternatives to meet the financial requirements.

The construction of Gwadar to Nawabshah pipeline would suggest Pakistan’s seriousness to implement the pipeline project that Pakistan required at all costs to link Gwadar with the gas system in Sindh and the rest of the country.