Caretaker cabinet committee approves work on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline

The caretaker Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) Friday approved works on the first phase of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline, prompting hope for boosting the nation’s energy security as the project had seen more than a decade’s delay.

In a statement, the Ministry of Energy said that a summary of the Petroleum Division regarding the IP Gas Pipeline was taken up by the cabinet committee in its session today.

The CCoE, the statement mentioned, approved the recommendations of the Ministerial Oversight Committee for the project constituted by caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar in September 2023, whereby the committee recommended to start work on the 80km segment of the pipeline inside Pakistan — from Pakistan border up till Gwadar in the first phase.

The project will be executed by Inter State Gas Systems (Pvt) Ltd and funded through Gas Infrastructure Development Cess, the statement mentioned.

All the concerned divisions, the ministry said, gave a positive nod to move ahead with the project to ensure gas supplies to the people of Pakistan, thereby addressing the increasing energy needs of the country.

The ministry added that the project would not only boost the energy security of Pakistan but would enhance the confidence of the local industry which would be ensured with the enhanced gas supplies.

“This will also catalyse the economic activity in the province of Balochistan and will contribute to the economic progress of Pakistan,” the ministry added.

The project has been facing delays since 2014. In January, Iran issued a third notice to Islamabad, renewing its intention to move the arbitration court for not laying the pipeline as part of the IP gas line project.

The News reported that Pakistan has been arguing that it could not materialise the project in its territory because of the US sanctions imposed on Iran, a view which authorities in Tehran have never subscribed, saying the US sanctions are not justified. Iraq and Turkey have been using gas from Iran for long as they have managed waivers on the US sanctions.

However, as Pakistan is also showing intentions to move forward, Iran has already extended the 180-day deadline till September 2024 to Pakistan. 

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