Talks on setting new timeframe for the completion of the much-awaited Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project are starting today in Tehran after Islamabad sent a team of experts and officials to the Iranian capital to the same end, a Pakistani source said.
A Pakistani delegation that flew to Tehran on Sunday would hold talks with Iranian authorities to set a new mutually agreed timeframe for the project. Under the Gas Sales Purchase Agreement (GSPA) signed earlier with Iran by the outgoing PPP government in 2009, the first flow of gas to Pakistan should have started by Dec 31, 2014, The Nation reported.
The two countries are responsible for the completion of the pipeline within their territories. Failure on part of a party entails penalties equivalent to the price of daily gas quantities that is around $3 million for every day’s delay in completion of the project. Iran can also claim billions of dollars in compensation for any breach of contract.
Well-informed sources told The Nation that following the approval of a board of Inter State Gas Company (ISGC), a delegation of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources comprising the officials of ISGC flew to Iran on Sunday to hold negotiations with Iranian authorities, particularly the National Iranian Gas Exports Company.
The Pakistani delegation would ask Iran to set a new timeframe for completion of the project. It would make all out efforts to convince Iranian government regarding Pakistan’s point of view on the issue and try to get extension for completing the work on the gasline project. The delegation would also seek exemption from the already set heavy penalty in case of delay in completion of project by the previously set deadline.