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Iran ‘Not Hopeful’ of Exporting Gas to Pakistan

by AFP
Atta Kenare—AFP

Atta Kenare—AFP

Tehran’s oil minister says there is no financing available to finish pipeline project.

Iran’s oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said on Wednesday that he had no hope for exporting Iranian gas to Pakistan through the under-construction Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline because financing is not available to finish the project, state news agency IRNA reported.

Earlier this month, Pakistan’s minister for petroleum and natural resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, asked Iran for $2 billion to pay for Pakistan’s side of the gas pipeline that has drawn threats of U.S. sanctions.

“Given the current conditions, we do not have hope for exporting gas to Pakistan,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying. “It seems improbable to export gas,” he added.

The Iranian side of the $7.5-billion project is almost complete, but Pakistan has run into repeated problems paying for the 780-kilometer section to be built on its side of the border. Spooked by fears of U.S. sanctions and lacking money, the Pakistanis have so far dragged their feet on completing the project on their side—inaction that could prove costly both in terms of energy shortages and penalties under its agreement with Iran.

Iran currently produces around 600 million cubic meters of gas per day, almost all of which is consumed domestically. Its only foreign client is Turkey, which buys about 30 million cubic meters per day.

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