The Iranian government has written a letter seeking to hold talks on the long stalled gas pipeline project. Iran had completed the construction work in its territory and offered to provide financial assistance for its completion in Pakistan. However, the present government did not accept the Iranian offer due to diplomatic pressure of certain powers and the pressure is still there. After the Iran’s nuclear deal, economic sanctions have been lifted and there seems no obstacle for the revival of Iran Pakistan gas pipeline project (IP).
The government has allocated Rs. 25 billion in the current fiscal year for development of gas infrastructure across the country including IP. It is the most viable and feasible project the energy needs of the country. It has an edge over Turkmenistan-India Pakistan Afghanistan (TAPI) and Qatar LNG gas projects. IP ensure a direct and reliable supply of gas into our gas network, whereas Qatar LNG has to be regasified ion arrival at Pakistan before it is injected in our gas distribution system. Its price structure is also very attractive and further reduction in price can be achieved in talks for the revival of IP. Iran has gas reserves which are sufficient for 400 years; hence this project is also indispensible for CPEC as it can play a vital role in fulfilling the power requirements of this venture. It can provide sufficient and comparatively cheaper gas to the industrial zones and CNG stations. The stagnant manufacturing sector will get a boost. Hopefully, the federal government will give a positive response to the Iranian request.