Pak preparing sea route feasibility report on Pak-Iran gas pipeline deal

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Islamabad, July 5 (ANI): In a bid to seek parliamentary approval for the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has asked the country's petroleum ministry to prepare a feasibility report on the viability of bringing the gas pipeline through a sea route.

During a presentation on energy securitisation Gilani's Adviser on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain recommended him to first sensitise the parliamentarians on the IP gas pricing issue, The News reports.

According to sources, Gilani was informed that the sea route was comparatively more secure and also cost effective as it would not only save two billion dollars, but also reduce the pipeline stretch by 150 kilometres.

Gilani said the option of India joining the project at any later stage remained open.

He directed the ministry to maintain transparency at all levels in the implementation of energy-related plans and that all the integrated energy plans should be brought to the cabinet before they were presented in parliament for final approval.

"This will replace the costly fuel used in thermal powerhouse and save over 1 billion dollar for national kitty if the crude oil price stands even at just $70 per barrel," the paper quoted Dr Hussain, as saying.

Dr Asim confirmed that two powerful countries -a Western and an Islamic country - were pressurizing Pakistan to ditch the project.

The Islamic brotherly country is exerting pressure on Islamabad for the concern that the export of its fuel to Pakistan, which is used in the country's thermal powerhouses for electricity generation, will stand reduced to a naught. This country also does not want Pakistan to develop close ties with Iran because of other 'politico-religious' differences, he said. (ANI)

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