Second phase of IPI pipeline construction launched

Jul 17, 2010 02:00 AM

Iran has started construction of the second phase of the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline to deliver gas to Pakistan. Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Javad Owji was quoted as saying that, "Iran will invest $ 250 mm in the second phase of the pipeline's construction". He noted that there are two possible ways for exporting gas to India.
"Exporting gas via a direct seabed route and transferring gas via Pakistan's border are two possible ways," he said.

According to another Iranian Oil Ministry's gas exports authority, India is considering importing Iranian natural gas through a direct seabed pipeline amid talks with New Delhi on another gas pipeline through Pakistan.
Asghar Soheilipour announced that India is currently conducting feasibility studies on the direct seabed route. However, he advised India to reconsider joining the "Peace Pipeline" (another name for the IPI pipeline) project. The official stressed that the IPI pipeline would be the most economical and efficient export route.

Iran-India energy talks followed New Delhi's decision to pull out of the multibillion dollar deal with Tehran last year over pipeline security concerns. Both India and Pakistan have rebuffed US efforts to sabotage the pipeline project, under which Tehran agrees to deliver 21.2 mm cm (750 mm cf) of natural gas per day to Pakistan from 2014.
With regard to Iran-Pakistan energy cooperation, Soheilipour said Pakistan's natural gas reserves have declined during the past decades.

In June, US President Barack Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, announced that Washington had sought to dissuade Islamabad from signing the deal, amid plans to intensify pressure on Iran.
Pakistan shrugged off the call, with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani saying Pakistan is "not bound to implement US decisions".

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