Iran to Ink Gas Deal with Pakistan in April

A01801496.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iran will sign a final agreement to export gas via pipeline to Pakistan in April, an official from the National Iranian Gas Company said.

Iran has completed half of the pipeline, which will have a capacity to carry 110 million cubic meters of gas a day to Pakistan, Vahid Zeydifard, a senior pipe-lines expert at the National Iranian Gas Company, said in an interview at the Gastech conference in Bangkok yesterday.

Iran plans to start exporting gas to Pakistan from 2011.

The $7.4 billion project, known as the “Peace Pipeline”, will carry gas from Iran to Pakistan and India to meet the growing energy demand of the two countries. The US, seeking to isolate Iran because of its pursuit of its nuclear rights, wants India and Pakistan to pull out of the project.

“Negotiations are at a final stage,” Zeydifard said. “Pakistan needs 50 million cubic meters of gas a day, and we can supply the rest to India if they want it.” India currently uses about 108 million cubic meters of gas a day, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2007.

Pakistan is facing a shortage of gas as domestic fields decline and may have to depend on Iranian fuel to meet demand, which is expanding by five per cent a year.

The National Iranian Oil Company is developing the Kish field, which will transport gas via a 900-kilometre pipeline from Assaluyeh to Iranshahr once it is completed.

Elsewhere, Iran signed an agreement yesterday on setting up a planned 300,000 barrels per day oil refinery joint venture in Indonesia, together with a Malaysian partner.

Iran and Indonesia also reached initial agreement on a 360,000 bpd plant to refine gas liquids in Iran’s Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas and an urea plant with a capacity of one million tons per year in southern Iran.

Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari told Reuters the refinery would be 40 per cent owned by Iran, 40 per cent by Indonesia and 20 per cent by the Malaysian partner.

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