The United States has levied its ‘toughest-ever’ sanctions on Iran, making it almost impossible for it to do business with other states.
Despite the sanctions, Pakistan has decided to proceed on the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project and expedite the process. The country seeks regional cooperation in the energy sector.
The government is afraid that even bigger gas outages are going to hit the country in the coming years. It anticipates a gap of 3,262 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) in 2022-23 even after the implementation of the new gas pipeline projects.
To overcome this gap, the policymakers have suggested numerous ideas. They recommend speeding up the exploration and production (E&P) activities, building more LNG terminals, and accelerated implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project, which has a capacity of 1,325 MMCFD. Notably, TAPI is already under implementation and is estimated to materialize in December 2021.
They think that the work on the IP gas project, with a capacity of 750 mmcfd, can be expedited within 24 months. It has the potential to reduce the gap up to 2,513 mmcfd.
Experts believe that the rising demand for transport fuel and the increasing crude oil prices in the global market can become a challenge to the present government.
Notably, Pakistan has received confirmation of bailout packages from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. But the hope of receiving help from the Gulf states does not bode well for the IP gas pipeline.
In the past, after getting help from the Kingdom, the government scrapped the pipeline project. However, while discussing the 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23), the policymakers have said, “To supplement the indigenous gas supply in addition to the LNG imports, natural gas import projects like Tapi and the IP would be pursued expeditiously in the context of regional cooperation in the energy sector.”