We are committed to IPI pipeline project: Pak

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{image-iran-india-pak flag1_17042008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Islamabad, Apr 17: Pakistan has told the US that it is committed to signing the 7.4-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project with Iran in order to meet its emerging energy requirements.

Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Khawaja Asif had informed US Ambassador Anne W Patterson that Pakistan and Iran were in the final stages of signing the pact, sources told the Daily Times. Sources said that Asif told Patterson that Pakistan and India would hold talks on the transit issue on April 25. Indian Petroleum Minister Murli Deora would represent his country at the talks.

Patterson said the US was mindful of Pakistan's energy requirements and was keen to assist in developing the country's energy sector. She said the US was reviving the dialogue on energy and sought Pakistan's participation in the process.

Approval has been accorded to gas sharing formula. Iran, under this formula will supply 2.1 billion cubic feet at Pakistan borders daily. Pakistan and India will share this supply 50 percent each. Iran will supply this gas upto Pakistan borders and Pakistan will be responsible to supply this gas from its borders to Indian borders.

Pakistan will lay 750 to 1050 kilometres long gas pipeline to supply gas at Indian borders.

According to officials, the work on the gas pipeline would start next year. The project will be completed within three to four years.

New Delhi has not been attending talks on the IPI project since mid-2007 as it first wanted to resolve the issue of transit fee payable to Islamabad for wheeling the gas through that country.

New Delhi and Islamabad have reached a broad understanding on the transportation tariff payable to Pakistan for wheeling the gas through the pipeline passing through that country. But the two nations have not yet agreed on payment of a separate transit fee to Pakistan for allowing the passage of the fuel.

Iran, Pakistan and India are to separately build pipeline segments falling under their territories.


ANI

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