ISLAMABAD, July 2 (UPI) -- A natural gas pipeline extending from an offshore Iranian natural gas field could be completed as early as next year, a Pakistani energy official said.
Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said his administration was supporting a planned Iranian natural gas pipeline in an effort to address ongoing energy concerns.
Pakistani Petroleum Secretary Abid Saeed said the project could be completed by the end of next year. He said Pakistan will receive 750 million cubic feet of natural gas from Iran each day through the pipeline once all operations are completed, Pakistani newspaper The Nation reported Monday.
Saeed said the project would eventually lead to the generation of 5,000 megawatts of electricity for Pakistan's energy grid.
Pakistan's aging infrastructure and energy sector mismanagement has left most the country without a reliable source of electricity.
Iran's semiofficial Fars News Agency said the pipeline would stretch about 683 miles from offshore natural gas fields in Iran through Pakistani territory.
A rival natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan, favored by the United States, has the support of the Asian Development Bank.