Iran and Pakistan have signed an agreement to further plans for the $US7 billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline which is expected to deliver 60 MMcm/d of Iranian gas to India. Following the signing of the gas sales purchase agreement, work will begin on project design.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad signed the agreement in Tehran for the 2,100-km pipeline that will transport 8 Bcm/a of gas. The project was intended to include India, which refrained from the deal due to concerns about pipeline security. This does not mean that India cannot join the project at a later stage. Construction of the 1,035-km Pakistani section is expected to take three to four years.
If India does not join the pipeline, Iran may extend the project from Pakistan into China. Iranian officials are looking at exporting gas to the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Syria. This follows an agreement between Iraq and Syria to reopen the Kirkuk-Banias oil pipeline, which extends from northern Iraq to the Syrian port of Banias. The countries have discussed construction of a gas pipeline from Iraq’s western Akkas fields to Syria.