Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Oil Pipeline Politics in South Asia

Iran happy with gas talks with Pakistan
Tehran Times, October 23, 2007

TEHRAN (PIN) – National Iranian Gas Export Co. (NIGEC) managing director said the three day gas talks between Iran and Pakistan on details of peace pipeline ended successfully in Islamabad on Oct. 21.

Nosratollah Seifi told PIN the two states’ officials would not hold more negotiations on the issue and the experts were to finalize the details of the contract.

He said the remaining issues would be likely settled in Nov.

In a new development, Islamabad has communicated to Tehran that Pakistan is ready to import five billion cubic feet of gas per day through the proposed $3.6 billion Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas line to make the project more economically viable as India is currently pursuing a wait and see policy, a senior government official told The News.

Pakistan and Iran are currently holding technical talks at the joint working group level.

Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, the special representative on gas project, led the Iranian side to the talks while Secretary Petroleum Farrukh Qayyum led the Pakistan team.

The Iranian team left Sunday for home.

Under the earlier proposed $7.3 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) mega project, Islamabad was to import 3.15 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day from Iran (1.05 bcf per day under phase 1 and 2.1 bcf under phase II). However, India was to import 1.05 bcf per day in Phase I and 3.20 bcf in Phase II).

According to the official who attended the meeting, now under the new scenario in the wake of India’s ‘evasive’ attitude as the Indian experts did not participate in the recently-held meeting in Tehran and even in the meeting at Islamabad, both Iran and Pakistan have decided to materialize the IP project and to make the project economically viable, the authorities concerned in Islamabad have placed new offer that Pakistan would import five billion cubic feet per day gas through the pipeline having radius of 56 inches.

“We have also asked the Iranian authorities that the gas to be imported from Iran can also be exported to China in the shape of LNG (liquefied natural gas) as the western part of the China is short of energy. If it happens, then the project would become further economically viable.”

INDIA SET TO JOIN GAS PIPELINE PROJECT: Sujay Mehdudia, The Hindu - October 23, 2007
Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan project will meet growing energy needs

Pipeline to have a capacity of 33 billion cubic metres
Nations to undertake project feasibility studies

NEW DELHI: In a major boost to the energy security policy for the nation, India is all set to join the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline project next month. The project is backed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that aims at importing natural gas from the Central Asian nation to meet the growing energy needs.

The Steering Committee meeting has been called by the project sponsor ADB between November 28 and 29 in Islamabad and would witness India formally becoming part of the project and the four nations signing the Project Heads of Agreement and a Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement.

India till now had an observer status in the project and had even hosted a meet on the issue last year in New Delhi.

The proposed pipeline will have a capacity of 33 billion cubic metres of natural gas per annum. The 1,680 km pipeline will run from the Daulatabad gas field to Afghanistan. From there it will be constructed alongside the highway running from Herat to Kandahar, and then via Quetta and Multan in Pakistan.

The final destination of the pipeline will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near the border between Pakistan and India. The pipeline will be 1,420 mm in diameter with a working pressure of 100 atm and a capacity of 33 billion cubic metre (BCM) of natural gas annually. The cost of this international infrastructure is estimated at $4 billion. The deal on the pipeline was signed in December 2002 by the leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Final version

In 2005, the Asian Development Bank submitted the final version of feasibility study designed by British company Penspen.

During the next month’s meeting, Turkmenistan will make a presentation on gas reserves and the volume available for export to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, while the buyers will present their gas demands. Upon signing of the Heads of Agreement, the four partners will undertake project feasibility studies and devise the financial structure.

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