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IP pipeline project still in line

Islamabad: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi revealed that Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project is not a history, despite the threat of US sanctions and has sought an extension in the timeframe for its implementation.

He stated the matter at the ceremony for the grant of 12 petroleum concession agreements and exploration licences to Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL).

He further added that Pakistan was committed to the IP pipeline and suggested that the timeframe set for commissioning the project should be extended because of the risk of US sanctions.

According to him, government was also working on liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and the project would be completed in November to handle LNG imports. He ruled out LNG imports from the US, saying the government had initiated talks with Qatar on LNG supply.

On January 23, the government provisionally awarded 50 petroleum exploration blocks to eight local and international companies. Of these, 12 were formally given to OGDC and PPL.

According to the minister, the remaining 38 petroleum concession blocks will soon be awarded to other companies and the government is expecting a minimum investment of $176 million from them.

PPL is Pakistan’s oldest and largest exploration and production company, which was incorporated during the 1950s.

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