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Iran, Pakistan may start discussions on IP in Sept.

Islamabad, Iran and Pakistan may start discussions in September on how to proceed further on Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, a leading news daily reported quoting senior officials as saying.

'The News' quoted a senior official at Petroleum Division as saying that Iranian delegation wanted to come to Pakistan, but the caretaker government was of the view that any decision on the project will be the prerogative of the next elected government.

Now elections in Pakistan are over, and most likely the PTI headed government is going to take the charge, both sides would put their heads together to find out the way out how to proceed for implementation of the project in the presence of the US sanctions and hawkish attitude of the Trump administration, he said.

Pakistan hopes Iran will, the official said, not move the arbitration court on IP gas line project, knowing the fact that in the presence of US sanctions, it was not possible to arrange the required funding for laying down the pipeline.

Pakistan and Iran have already, he said, agreed to open up and review the gas sales-purchase agreement (GSPA) inked between the two in 2009 following the reduction in the prices at which Pakistan is procuring the LNG from Qatar and is having the imported product through spot purchasing and the price of gas settled under TAPI gas line. Pakistan and Iran signed GSPA in 2009 under IP gas pipeline project in era of Pakistan People's Party.

The IP project was to be implemented under segmented approach which means that Iran had to lay down the pipeline on its side and Pakistan had to build the pipeline in its territory.

The project was to be completed by December 2014 and come on stream from January 1, 2015. Under the penalty clause it was agreed by both sides that if Pakistan fails to have intake of Iranian gas from January 1, 2015, it will have to pay $01 million per day as penalty.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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