A senior official at the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) said that the country has given an ultimatum to Pakistan to pave the ground for imports of gas from Iran as undertaken in an earlier contract.
“Several letters have been sent so far to the Pakistani side to call for a decision about imports of gas from Iran and recently, the issue was reminded to the Pakistani energy ministry officials with an ultimatum,” the official told FNA on Sunday.
He warned that if the Pakistani officials do not adopt the necessary measures to facilitate gas imports from Iran, Tehran will lodge a complaint against the country at international courts, adding that Islamabad will be fined for not remaining committed to its undertakings.
While Iran has completed its part of the gas pipeline project with a total investment of above $2 billion to export gas to Pakistan, Islamabad has fallen behind the target to take delivery of gas, initially scheduled for 2014.
The joint project was launched in 2010 and aims to construct 1,800 kilometers (over 1,100 miles) of pipeline from Iran to Pakistan.
Iran plans to deliver 21.5 mcm/d of gas to Pakistan through the project.
Early in December, Pakistani Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan underlined that his country deems Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project as a very significant energy project, and said IP’s completion would pave the way for putting an end to the energy crisis in Pakistan.
Back in January it was announced that Pakistani policymakers have reached the conclusion that the country will face serious energy problems in 2020s without Iran’s gas supply.
Policymakers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government say the much awaited Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project would be pursued expeditiously in the context of regional cooperation in the energy sector.
Local Pakistani media like Express Tribune and propakistani reported that the policymakers fear worst gas outages in the country in the coming years and anticipate that there will still be a gap of 3,263 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) in 2022-23 despite gas pipeline projects.
In order to bridge the gap, they recommend vibrant petroleum policies to accelerate exploration and production (E&P) activities, construction of more LNG terminals and expeditious implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) project with the capacity of 1,325 MMCFD which is already under implementation and is expected to be come online by December 2021.
They say the IP gas pipeline project with a capacity of 750 MMCFD – which is not progressing well – could be constructed on fast track basis with 24 months. It will further reduce the gap to 2,513 MMCFD.
The policy makers feel that phenomenal growth in demand for transport fuel and rising trend of the crude prices in the international market may pose a challenge to the PTI government.
“To supplement the indigenous gas supply in addition to the LNG imports, natural gas import projects like Tapi and the IP would be pursued expeditiously in the context of regional cooperation in the energy sector,” the PTI policymakers say in 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23) while discussing energy scenario of Pakistan in the next five years.
The IP pipeline is designed to help Pakistan overcome its growing energy needs at a time when the country of over 180 million people is grappling with serious energy shortages.