Hojatollah Ghanimifard, the Iranian Oil Minister’s representative in the pipeline talks, told the Financial Times: “Both we and Pakistan are talking with Gazprom and we have agreed that Gazprom can be a partner [to construct] the pipeline inside Pakistan.”
Construction of the $US3.2 billion, 48 inch diameter onshore gas pipeline was initially designed to connect the Assaluyen gas field in southern Iran to GAIL’s Hazira – Bijaipur – Jagdishpur pipeline in Gujarat, a distance of 2,670 km. However, with India refraining from signing an agreement the option of extending the pipeline from Pakistan to China is now being considered.
The pipeline is expected to deliver 60 MMcm/d of gas.
With Gazprom having accepted Iran’s offer to join the project, the parties have agreed to meet trilaterally in Tehran.
Mr Ghanimifard emphasized that India still has an option to join the project.