|Pakistan petroleum minister says Iran cooperating in gas project||
ISLAMABAD (Dawn) -- Pakistan Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Iran and Pakistan were keen to implement the gas pipeline project.
“Iran is not unhappy with us, but fully aware of the actual situation,” he told a sub-committee of the Senate standing committee on petroleum and natural resources, adding that the two countries had discussed the project during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent visit to Tehran and agreed to cooperate with each other for its implementation.
Mr Abbasi said Pakistan’s position on the gas pipeline project was very clear, but international sanctions on Iran were an impediment to its implementation.
The minister had accompanied the prime minister during his two-day trip to Tehran.
According to an official, the two sides expected a positive outcome of Iran’s next round of talks with Western powers on nuclear program. After this the two countries could go ahead with the project, he added.
The petroleum minister also informed the sub-committee headed by Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash that gas resources were fast depleting in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and efforts were being made to expedite exploration activities as well as development of oil and gas deposits.
In reply to a question, he said the cost of a natural gas expansion project in Kohat division had increased from Rs8 billion to Rs11bn. He said that after unauthorised domestic connections, illegal commercial and industrial connections and opening of new CNG stations also witnessed a mushroom growth, resulting in a loss of over Rs8bn to the exchequer.
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