U.S. supportive of Pakistan's energy needs

Sept. 16, 2011 at 9:13 AM   |   Comments

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Though Islamabad aims to develop a gas pipeline with Iran, U.S. officials in Pakistan said Washington was committed to helping avert an energy crisis.

Tehran said it finished work on its section of a pipeline from the South Pars natural gas complex in the Persian Gulf. Pakistani officials said recently they were interested in starting work on their side of the border with the aim of completing the project by next year.

Washington has reservations regarding the project because of the economic benefit for Iran. The U.S. State Department said that Washington and Islamabad were committed to finding "practical solutions" to addressing Pakistan's energy needs.

Carlos Pascual, U.S. special envoy for international energy, joined Pakistani Minister of Water and Power Naveed Qamar for a bilateral energy dialogue to review the situation.

Pascual noted that Pakistan needed "reliable and affordable" energy to maintain economic prosperity.

"There are no quick fixes to this crisis but the United States and international partners are willing to help," he said in a statement. "We will continue to support Pakistan in its efforts to resolve this energy crisis."

Washington favors Turkmenistan's plans to deliver natural gas through Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Ashgabat aims to deliver about 1.1 trillion cubic feet of gas each year through the pipeline when it goes online in 2014.

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