'Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline ready by 2013'
Pakistan's Minister of Oil and Natural Resources Asim Hussain
Pakistan's minister of oil and natural resources says Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline will be finished before the end of 2013 one year ahead of the original schedule, Press TV reports.
Addressing the Friday session of Pakistan's Senate, Asim Hussain said feasibility study of the project has been already carried out and tender documents will be given to applicant companies soon, a Press TV correspondent reported.
The minister stated that early estimates have put the project's cost at USD 1.5 billion, but the final figure will be determined by banks which will finance the project.
He added that Pakistan will rapidly build its share of the pipeline and two gas compression stations along its southern coastal highway.
The multi-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline deal, which was signed in June 2010, aims to export a daily amount of 21.5 million cubic meters (or 8.7 billion cubic meters per year) of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan.
Maximum daily gas transfer capacity of the 56-inch pipeline which runs over 900 km of Iran's soil from Asalouyeh in Bushehr Province to the city of Iranshahr in Sistan and Baluchestan Province has been given at 110 million cubic meters.
The project was originally known as the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline project. Iran, India and Pakistan held tripartite negotiations over the project, which was also known as 'The Peace Pipeline.'
New Delhi finally left the trilateral talks over disagreements with Islamabad on issues such as the fee Pakistan would charge India for the gas transit.
In October 2007, Iran and Pakistan began a new round of talks in Tehran, where the details of the deal were finalized.
Iran ranks second in the world in natural gas resources after Russia with available gas reserves estimated at over 33 trillion cubic meters.
In addition to exporting gas to Turkey, Armenia, and Pakistan, the country is currently negotiating gas exports to Iraq.