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Iran, Pakistan finalize gas deal

Iran and Pakistan have finalized a deal for the construction of a pipeline to pump Iranian natural gas to the South Asian country.

The $7.5bn contract has brought a sense of relief to energy-starved Pakistan, reported Press TV correspondent Javed Rana from Islamabad.

“This is a really historic achievement for Pakistan because we have signed an agreement, final agreement … for importing … one billion cubic feet (of gas)”, Irshad Karimi with the Pakistani Petroleum and Gas Ministry told our correspondent.

“We are presently producing and consuming around 4.2 billion cubic feet; that means 25% of it will be imported from Iran”, added the Pakistani official.

The December 2014 is the deadline to complete the pipeline project, added Press TV’s correspondent.

“And normally this kind of pipeline is going to take between three to four years because the length of the pipeline inside Pakistan is around 900km. It depends … but it is possible to do it in around 30 months”, Head of Iran’s National Gas Company Reza Kassaeizaded told Press TV’s correspondent.

India opted to withdraw from the project apparently under US pressure, our correspondent added.

However, the agreement kept the option open of India joining the project at a later stage.

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