Iranian, Pakistani Presidents to Sign IPI Pipeline Contract Next Month

A00121163.jpgIranian and Pakistani presidents are expected to sign by next month the final contract on a $7.4 bln pipeline project which would take Iran’s gas to Pakistan and India, a senior Iranian oil ministry official said here on Saturday. Head of Tehran’s negotiating team in the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline talks, Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, said that the two sides had made the final revisions and agreed on the final version of the contract in their last round of talks in Tehran.

Meantime, Ghanimifard, who is also the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) director for international affairs, said that Iranian and Pakistani engineers are yet to work out an operation agreement which will be supplemented to the contract before it is signed by the two countries’ presidents.

He said the supplementary document, which will certainly be prepared within the next 30 days, will include some remaining technical points like point of delivery and gas pressure at delivery point.

The official underlined that the project would yield much profit to both sides, reminding that Tehran and Pakistan have originally started negotiations due to the huge gains that they perceived the project would yield in future.

“In the last round of talks with Iranian negotiators, the Pakistani oil minister extended an obvious welcome to the export of Iran’s gas to India and china via his country’s territory,” Ghanimifard said.

He said Iran should not merely focus on exporting gas to India as the present trend of consumption shows that Asia will have a growing market for gas supplies in the near future.

“Thus, we should pay attention to the regional market as well,” the official added.

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