ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 29 (UPI) -- The Pakistani government said it was officially inviting interested parties to take part in the planned natural gas pipeline from Iranian gas fields.
Tehran said it finished work on its section of a pipeline from the South Pars natural gas complex in the Persian Gulf. Pakistani official said recently they were interested in starting work on their side of the border with the aim of completing the project by next year.
Pakistan gets about 30 percent of its energy needs through imports. The government of Pakistan said the availability of energy is vital to its economic growth and has included the Iranian gas pipeline as part of its energy security plan, Pakistani newspaper The Nation reports.
Islamabad has therefore invited expressions of interest for the $1.2 billion pipeline project. The government said each party under the current plan is tasked with building and operating the transit network within its respective territories.
India was included in the initial pipeline plans but has repeatedly stayed on the sidelines in recent years. New Delhi has worked with Washington on civilian nuclear energy programs and U.S. officials have expressed their reservations over the Iranian pipeline project.
The Pakistani newspaper notes that while U.S. officials recognize Islamabad's energy woes, they've made no efforts to address the situation.
Most of Iran's natural gas would be designated for Pakistan's industrial sector. Officials in Islamabad said they may look to liquefied natural gas for consumer demands.