Thursday, 19 September 2019

Pakistan signs $10 bn gas pipeline agreement with Russia

ISLAMABAD: As a major sign of increasing economic cooperation, Pakistan and Russia on Wednesday signed an inter corporate agreement for the laying of more than 1,500 km offshore gas pipeline costing $10 billion that would be transporting natural gas from the Russian gas company Gazprom’s sources in the Middle East to Pakistan with possibility of extending it further to South Asian countries.

Mobin Saulat, Managing Director of Inter-State Gas Systems (ISGS), a state-owned company with the mandate to build gas pipelines and gas import projects, and Vitaly A Markelov of Russian Gazprom Gas Company signed this Inter Corporate Agreement (between companies) here.

Initially, the feasibility study of this $10 billion offshore gas pipeline project would be carried out by Gazprom at its own expense. The pipeline would follow an integrated approach, including other ancillary projects such as Under Ground Gas storage, desalination and other power projects.

Pakistan will import some 500 million to one billion cubic feet of gas per day (MMCFD) from these Russian sources, which would be transported via sea link, the agreement stipulates. The pipeline construction is expected to be completed in three to four years.

Russia holds huge gas deposits in Bahrain, Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries and had offered Pakistan and India gas exports by laying the offshore pipeline that would be passing through Gwadar.

A Russian delegation headed by Vitaly A. Markelov, Deputy Chairman of the Management committee, PJSC, ‘Gazprom’ International, visited the Petroleum Division and held a meeting with Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan and other government officials.

According to a statement, Pakistan’s federal Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan appreciated the expanding trajectory of bilateral relations between Russia and Pakistan. Khan welcomed Gazprom’s interest in offshore gas pipeline project and termed it a manifestation of multifaceted cooperation between both countries.

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