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Russian firm set to begin feasibility study for $10bn offshore gas pipeline

ISLAMABAD: A week after $10 billion historic deal between Pakistan and Russia for offshore gas pipeline, the Russian energy giant, Gazprom, is all set to start feasibility study for the mega project.

Under the agreement, Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS), a state-owned Pakistani company, will collaborate with Russia’s energy giant Gazprom, to execute the mega project.

Managing Director Inter State Gas Systems (Pvt.) Limited (ISGSL) Mobin Saulat told state-run wire service that during recently held meeting in Russia, “both sides agreed and identified potential future areas of cooperation; agreeing to accelerate cooperation in the area of energy with a special emphasis on oil and gas besides kick starting the feasibility study for the $10 billion off-shore gas pipeline.”

He said that the feasibility study would include preliminary, technical, financial parameters of the project including gas pipeline route, gas supply volumes and information. We aim to prepare the study within 12 months.”

Through the pipeline, he said, the firm will supply the commodity to Pakistan from its Middle East fields, which would have great potential of regional connectivity.

The MD termed it as a major development in a result of sustained dialogue held between energy experts of the two countries.

The project envisages transporting of gas molecules from Gazprom’s sources in the Middle East onwards to Pakistan with a possibility in extending it further to South Asian countries.

The pipeline would follow an integrated approach including other ancillary projects such as Under Ground Gas storage, desalination and other power projects.

Relations between cold war foes, Russia and Pakistan have witnessed an upward trajectory in recent years in all spheres.

Both the countries have drawn closer to each other and relations have been marked with an increasing proximity and convergence on major issues.

Gazprom is making an entry in Pakistan at the time when a number of projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are in full swing and Pakistan has emerged as a major point in the Belt and Road Initiative.

The agreement would lead to establishment of a Joint Working Group which would review the project quarterly on an alternate basis in Pakistan and Russia, he added.

Pakistan will import some 500 million to 1 billion cubic foot of gas from Russia daily, which would be transported via sea link, the agreement stipulates. The pipeline construction is expected to be completed in three to four years.

According to officials, the pipeline will connect Pakistan and Russia and act as an energy corridor between the two countries. “After the agreement, Pakistan will gain access to the Russian market in order to boost its overall exports which remained stagnant during five-year tenure of the previous government.”

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