Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project Expedited Despite US Opposition

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Context

Pakistan-Iran Joint Committee on oil, gas and energy met in Islamabad from July 17 to 18 and discussed cooperation between the two countries. The committee agreed to form a Joint Working Group to speed up the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project, despite US and EU sanctions on dealings with Iran.

The two sides agreed to include experts from technical, legal financial and commercial sectors in the JWG to work out the details and to develop a strategy for the project. Iran also showed interest in the Exploration and Petroleum sector of Pakistan and has invited the country to do the same in Iran.

The 785-km gas pipeline is scheduled to start by December 2014. According to reports, Pakistan is presently facing a shortage of 2 billion cubic feet per day while its present production is at 4.2 billion cubic feet.

Pakistan has assured Iranians about its interest in the project and to bring in Russia and China as well. Both nations have in the past shown enthusiasm on joining the gas pipeline project.