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Pak-Iran experts discuss technical aspect of IP gas pipeline project.

ISLAMABAD, September 02, 2009 (Balochistan Times): The technical experts of Pakistan and Iran discussed the standards and codes of the engineering which would be utilized in construction of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project here. A six-member Pakistan team was headed by Managing Director Inter State Gas System Hasan Nawab while the five-member Iranian team was led by Irans Director Gas Exports. According to a senior official, as the pipeline would be constructed in both Iran and Pakistan territories, hence, the standards and codes of the engineering would be the same for the whole IP gas line. Although the pipeline will be constructed under the segmented approach under which Iran will construct the pipeline in its area and Pakistan will construct in its own area from Iran border to Nawab Shah, but factually the pipeline will be the same from Paras field (Iran) to Nawab Shah (Pakistan). According to sources, such meetings would continue at operational level and that officials of both the countries would meet again after Eidul Fitr. On the issue of comfort letter, the source said as per this letter, the Government of Pakistan would have to allow a third country to import gas through IP pipeline in the event of any such country joining the project in the future. Such permission, however, will be subject to the gas tariff and transit fee that would be worked out at that times best practices. It may be mentioned here that Pakistan and Iran signed an initial agreement in the Iranian Capital, Tehran on Sunday during last visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to Iran. Under the agreement, the gas pipeline could be extended in the future to take Iranian gas to India. The project, termed as the peace pipeline by officials from both countries, was signed by President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the tripartite summit on Afghanistan security in Tehran The project was initially expected to include India, but the country has stayed out of the deal because of concerns about the pipelines security. India also reportedly objected to the transit fees that Pakistan had requested. The 2,100-kilometre line is expected to deliver 60 million cubic metres of gas a day to Pakistan. The Federal Cabinet had earlier agreed to allow the import of gas at the rate of 80 percent of the price of crude oil. The pipeline would enter Pakistan from its border near Gwadar area to Nawabshah, which is the hub of gas pipelines in the country. The project was conceived in 1995. After almost 13 years India finally decided to quit the project in 2008 despite a severe energy crisis in the country.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Sep 2, 2009
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