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Islamabad seeks Gazprom participation in gas pipeline project

March 30, 2012, 13:49 UTC+3

Experts say Pakistan’s demands for gas keep growing, while the existing infrastructure is insufficient

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ISLAMABAD, March 30 (Itar-Tass) — Pakistan hopes that Russia’s Gazprom gas giant will take part in the project to build a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan, spokesman for the country’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources Mobin Saulat told Itar-Tass on Friday.

It was earlier reported that a delegation of ministry officials as well as top managers from Pakistan’s leading energy companies will visit Moscow on April 2-4 to discuss with the leadership of Gazprom and other sectoral Russian ministries and departments prospects for ensuring financial and technical support for a multi-billion project to transport natural gas from Iran to Pakistan.

“The Pakistani side is extremely interested in involving Russia in that very important for us program,” Saulat said. Preliminary agreements were reached during a recent visit to Moscow of Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, and now we would like to discuss with Russian colleagues concrete details of financing and construction of the pipeline,” the spokesman added.

According to him, the government of Pakistan has already agreed with a number of banks and financial-industrial groups concerning the future financing of the project. “The authorities of Pakistan and Iran have already extended their full guarantees as to the implementation of that project to future investors and participants,” the ministry representative said.

Experts say Pakistan’s demands for gas keep growing, while the existing infrastructure is insufficient. At the present moment that country daily needs about six billion cubic feet of gas, while the existing capacities are enough to ensure only four billion cubic feet a day.

“In the future we would also like to engage the Russian side in prospecting and output of gas reserves in the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Sindh,” Saulat added.

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