- The gas from fields in Iran will be supplied to consumers in Pakistan and India through the marine pipeline
- Development is a bold call in the face of mounting pressure on Iran which shows Pakistan’s resilience, Muzamil Aslam
KARACHI: Pakistan and Russia on Thursday signed memorandum of understanding MoU in Moscow for the construction of the marine gas pipeline, Ministry of Energy of Russian Federation confirm to Arab News.
“Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, Anatoly Yanovsky and Deputy Minister of Energy of Pakistan Sher Afgan-Khan signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Energy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on cooperation in implementing the offshore pipeline project”, the ministry said in a statement issued after the signing of the agreement.
According to the agreement the gas from fields in Iran will be supplied to consumers in Pakistan and India.” I think this will create additional conditions for the signing of the same document with the Indian side, “said Yanovsky.
“The Memorandum provides for the identification of authorized organizations through which the project will be supported, including when developing a feasibility study – identifying the resource base, configuration and route of the gas pipeline”, the statement added.
The Deputy Minister noted that the interaction between Russia and Pakistan in the fuel and energy sector is not limited to the offshore pipeline project: in particular, consultations are being held on the North-South gas pipeline project.
According to Anatoly Yanovskiy, the project of LNG supplies to the Pakistan can become a promising direction of cooperation, and an intergovernmental agreement on the supply of oil products from Russia to Pakistan is also under consideration. In addition, interest in the Pakistani market is shown by the Russian electric power industry.
Pakistan and Russia have signed agreement at a time when the United States of America is mounting pressure on the countries to not deal with Iran. “It is a bold call which shows that Pakistan is not going to bow to the US threats”, said Muzamil Aslam, senior economist, adding “this could have repercussions as the US may pressurize Pakistan through other countries and may induce its investors withdraw their investment from Pakistan stock market”.
The underwater pipeline is expected to be completed in the next three to four years after signing of the agreement. The pipeline is expected to supply from 500 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.
A feasibility study of the project will be conducted by Russian energy giant Gazprom. The project will be jointly handled by Pakistan’s state owned Inter State Gas Systems ISGS along with Gazprom.
The ISGS is currently also engaged on mega gas pipeline schemes like $10 billion The Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India (TAPI) gas pipeline project which aims to bring natural gas from the Gylkynish and adjacent gas fields in Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
The ADB is acting as the facilitator and coordinator for the project. The feasibility study, proposed to lay a 56-inch diameter 1,680 KM pipeline with design capacity of 3.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per annum (Bcfd) from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan up to Pak-India border. The project is scheduled to start operations by 2020.
The supply of gas to Pakistan through gas pipeline will have positive impact on the economy of the country. “Pakistan’s energy needs would be met and our industries, particularly export industry, will benefit to large extent and employment opportunities would also increase”, Muzamil Aslam commented.