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Pakistan weighs consortium options for IPI

July 10, 2009 at 2:00 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 10 (UPI) -- Pakistani officials are considering whether to form a local or international consortium to move forward with plans for the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

Asim Hussain, the top energy adviser to Islamabad, said the government would consider whether to form a consortium to include the provincial governments in Balochistan and Sindh for the project, or form a joint venture with an unnamed foreign company, Pakistan's Daily Times reports.

Iran and Pakistan signed agreements on the IPI project in June. The pipeline would travel from the South Pars gas field in Iran to Pakistani markets. India's role in the project remains uncertain, though New Delhi said it was considering its position.

Hussain noted Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani would present the consortium options to lawmakers in Islamabad for review.

IPI is haunted by price concerns and volatility along the intended route for the pipeline, particularly in the Pakistani province of Balochistan.

Gilani said he would consider offshore routes for IPI to allay parliamentary concerns over the price and security of the gas pipeline.

Mubashir Hasan, a lawmaker with the Pakistani People's Party, has complained that Gilani's suggestions would cause undue delays to the project following the milestone agreement in June.

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