Pakistan keeps natural gas options open

Jan. 19, 2012 at 8:53 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Islamabad should pursue all natural gas options available through pipelines because other alternatives are too costly, a former official said.

Former Pakistan Petroleum Secretary Gulfraz Ahmed said energy shortages in the country would continue until a pipeline from Iran is completed through Pakistan.

Pakistan restricted energy supplies to some sectors of its economy to cope with a looming energy crisis. Ahmed said there are few alternatives for gas outside of pipeline deliveries because liquefied natural gas is too expensive, the Associated Press of Pakistan reports.

"We should also pursue the Turkmenistan gas pipeline project because after 10 years Pakistan will need more energy," he was quoted as saying.

Turkmenistan and Pakistan signed a draft deal for the delivery of about 1.1 trillion cubic feet of gas each year through a pipeline through Afghanistan. The Pakistani government had said it was worried about the security situation in its neighboring country, however.

Iran, meanwhile, said its section of the natural gas pipeline from its South Pars gas field is completed in its territory. Washington opposes the project because of potential economic benefits for Iran.

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