Pak-Iran gas pipeline to be complete by 2013

Published: October 28, 2011

Petroleum minister dispels impressions of external pressure. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Dispelling impressions of external pressure to shelve the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain informed the Senate that it would be completed by 2013, one year ahead of schedule.

Hussain said, “First gas flow is targeted by the end of 2014.” The estimated cost is $1.5 billion, but it will be firmed up after completion of a bankable feasibility study. Initial information for financing the project has been exchanged with international investors from China, Russia and the Middle East, he added. The Turkmenistan gas pipeline project has also taken a great leap forward after nearly a decade and the gas supply and purchase agreement will be signed on November 15. Major components of the project including tender for pipes and compressors will be floated this month, said the petroleum minister.

He said the government would introduce a new petroleum exploration and production policy to provide additional incentives to investors for exploration of oil and gas in the country.  These incentives, he added, would compensate for risk taken by companies for doing business in the present environment.

Government introduces money bills

The government has tabled the Petroleum Levy Amendment Bill, 2011 and Gas Infrastructure Development Cess Bill, 2011” in the Senate amid criticism from the opposition on the imposition of gas surcharge on consumers. The petroleum levy was introduced in the National Assembly when the Senate was not in session.

According to an explanatory statement, the Iran-Pakistan and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline projects were being pursued to increase supply and a surcharge was necessary to develop the required infrastructure. The government would otherwise be forced to import liquid fuels which are more expensive than gas. PML-N’s parliamentary leader in the Senate and former finance minister Ishaq Dar said the bills should not have been introduced as money bills, since they read like a mini-budget.

The bill on petroleum levy states that the levy is payable as mentioned in the fifth schedule along with the applicable rates,  but keeping in view the need to revise the rates in line with international prices and other relevant considerations, it is necessary to revive section 7 in its original form, and omit the fifth schedule from the constitution.

Senate Chairman Dr Farooq H Naek has asked the State Bank of Pakistan to extend the deadline for exchange of the old Rs500 notes.

Dua for Turkish earthquake victims

The house offered dua for Turkey’s earthquake victims at Senator Tariq Azeem’s request.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 28th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Cautious
    Oct 28, 2011 - 9:48AM

    Does this make sense to anyone — has Pakistan ever completed a project on time and on budget? How long have you been working on the banking feasibility study – that’s suppose to be the easy part and you can’t even get that done in a timely fashion.

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  • Mirza
    Oct 28, 2011 - 9:48AM

    Looks like Pakistan is driving a hard bargain for the US aid to start flowing once again. We must not forget that crying wolf only works a few times.

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  • Spaniard
    Oct 28, 2011 - 10:31AM

    US clearly said you NOT to do this…so this govt will not gonna do this

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  • Nasir
    Oct 28, 2011 - 10:47AM

    It is not only America but Oil Companies Mafia also doesn’t want this project to be initiated and completed. Pakistan must seek cheap Gas import otherwise electricity problem can never be solve in short terms.

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Oct 28, 2011 - 11:30AM

    Hope this project is completed. it will be the first, and probably the last, good act of this government.

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  • aazam
    Oct 28, 2011 - 12:10PM

    govt must complete this project as soon as possible.

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  • What?!
    Oct 28, 2011 - 1:31PM

    American mafia or whatever and all…..we have just been lazy on this….if they still dont have the Bankabale Feasibility, there is no way the construction can be finished by 2013 – maybe commitment of funds but no construction completion

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  • antanu g
    Oct 28, 2011 - 2:58PM

    @Cautious:
    you are right bro. bureacratic culture is same in pakistan and india.its a common trait

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  • Hamid
    Oct 28, 2011 - 3:35PM

    Hey, shouldn’t that pipeline should be underground?

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  • Menon
    Oct 28, 2011 - 6:24PM

    Has the pipeline construction even started? May be the minister meant 3013 instead of 2013.

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  • Menon
    Oct 28, 2011 - 6:27PM

    Man, there is disinformation, misinformation and hallucination. How can someone predict a completion date when a feasibility study has not even completeted? How can one forward papers for financing without a feasibility study?

    Defies known norms of logic!

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  • ReHaN
    Oct 28, 2011 - 8:53PM

    What are the security measures taken by the govt. to secure this Pipeline. Atleast it should be underground.

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  • pinky
    Oct 28, 2011 - 10:56PM

    er let me get this straight…now we are going for BOTH pipelines?!

    great but who will pay for them?

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  • rehmat
    Oct 29, 2011 - 1:29AM

    SOme questions:
    1) The Banking feasibility is not yet complete. Are people pre-judging that the project will prove to be economically feasible? what if it is not?
    2) Is there a target date for this report to be released?
    3) Assuming that Banking feasibility report gives a green signal, does the government have money to finance the project? For a government that has trouble repairing rail locomotives and paying salaries and pensions of railway employees, tying up financial close is a non-trivial issue. What is the government is unable to get to a financial close?
    4) This project is something that was considered when Shaukat Aziz was finance minister. If preparing banking feasibiity takes so long, how reasonable is it to expect financial close, tendiring and construction to be over in 2 years?

    The more likely scenario is what Mirza has suggested. The only purpose of this news item is to try to negotiate with the US since US is against this project.

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  • Haris
    Oct 29, 2011 - 2:24PM

    Agian to SLOW!!

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  • anwar
    Oct 30, 2011 - 7:46PM

    A flyover takes 3 months, a new motorway 2 years why not a pipeline in two years. I’ll tell you what makes more sense a Three(3) YEAR TERN OF POLITICAL OFFICE and less skeptics like urself@Cautious:

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  • Imran
    Oct 31, 2011 - 10:32PM

    I doubt its completion in 2013 but one thing is for sure that Pakistan has to complete it by 31.Dec.2014 because as per agreement Pakistan has to pay for a minimum supply of 750mmcfd per day if it doesn’t take supply on 1st.Jan.2015 that means millions dollars for nothing, Iran has already completed about 1100KM of pipeline out of total 1785KM in 17 months and Pakistan has 26 months to complete 781KM so everything is possible and practical but the only thing that matters is GOVERNMENT WILL.
    Only Hope is that in 2030 China’s gas consumption will be equal to whole Europe and their reserves will be consumed up so Gas Import is under consideration in China strategy departments so China is also interested party in the project as IP can easily be extended to China.

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