Senior Iranian oil ministry officials announced that Islamabad has decided to transfer Iranian gas to China."Iran's advantage over its rival countries (Qatar and Russia) is its location between two big gas consumption markets, China and Europe," oil ministry's website, Shana, quoted Managing-Director of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) Hossein Bidarmaghz as saying. He went on to highlight China's growing need for gas and LNG, saying that its consumption would equal all of Europe by 2030. Bidarmaghz said if the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is extended to China it will facilitate gas exports to the country adding that Iranian and Chinese officials would review the matter in future. The multi-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline deal, which was signed in June 2010, aims to export an annual amount of up to 21 million cubic meters of natural gas to Pakistan.The project was originally known as Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline project. Iran, India and Pakistan held tripartite negotiations over the project, which was also known as 'The Peace Pipeline,' until New Delhi's vacillation caused Tehran and Islamabad to continue talks bilaterally. New Delhi finally left the trilateral talks over differences with Islamabad on issues such as the fee Pakistan would charge India for gas transit. In October 2007, Iran and Pakistan began a new round of talks in Tehran, where the details of the deal were finalized. According to Iranian and Pakistani officials, the pipelines will soon start operation.