Iranian team due soon to discuss IP gas line project


ISLAMABAD: An Iranian team, comprising legal and technical experts, is due to arrive in Pakistan soon after the general election to discuss the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project with the political government, an official of the Petroleum Division told Business Recorder on condition of anonymity.

The official said the dates of the visit by the technical team from Iran are yet not finalised, it is expected that they will arrive in Islamabad later in February when a new political government is in place as a result of the 8th February general polls.

Pakistan would deliberate on further extension of the deadline of September 2024 to avoid Tehran’s moving to the Paris-based International Arbitration, seeking a penalty of $18 billion, the sources in Petroleum Division further stated. In order to avoid the imposition of the penalty, Pakistan was already in contact with the Iranian side to find a way out and to avoid a legal battle in the International Court of Arbitration.

Resurrecting dead IP gas pipeline project

A Pakistani ministerial oversight committee is working on it and several meetings had been held over the past couple of months to review the project.

Tehran is of the opinion that it has laid its part of the pipeline to the area bordering Pakistan but Islamabad is yet to complete its part of the work on its side of the border.

A major challenge before Pakistan is the sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran, which barred Pakistan from building its part of the pipeline.

Islamabad had also issued a force majeure notice to Tehran several years ago but Iran did not respond to the notice. The Iranian technical and legal experts’ team was earlier scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on January 21-24 but postponed due to tension between Iran and Pakistan.

Iran earlier asked Pakistan in Nov-Dec 2022 in its second notice to construct a portion of the project in its territory till Feb-March 2024 or be ready to pay a penalty of $18 billion.

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