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Iran, Pakistan to increase energy ties

A Iranian worker walks on the South Pars quarter one (SPQ1) natural gas platform in the Persian gulf waters near the southern port of Asalouyeh, Iran, on January 27, 2011. South Pars is the world's largest gas field, and shared between Iran and Qatar. Iran expects to fully develop its part of South Pars by 2015. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian
A Iranian worker walks on the South Pars quarter one (SPQ1) natural gas platform in the Persian gulf waters near the southern port of Asalouyeh, Iran, on January 27, 2011. South Pars is the world's largest gas field, and shared between Iran and Qatar. Iran expects to fully develop its part of South Pars by 2015. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | License Photo

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Pakistan and Iran are ready to expand their trade relationship in the natural gas sector, officials said from Pakistan.

Iran is moving ahead with a natural gas pipeline from the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf to service consumers in neighboring Pakistan. Iranian Vice President for International Affairs Ali Seedlou said Tehran was ready to complete the pipeline "before due time," reports Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency.

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A national committee on petroleum and natural resources in Islamabad was told by government officials that gas should flow through the Iranian pipeline by 2014. The committee added that Pakistan is facing a shortage in natural gas through at least 2020 if nothing is done to allay a lingering energy crisis.

Pakistani Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said trade with Iran could increase across several sectors.

"We can increase our cooperation in agriculture, livestock and energy sectors," he was quoted by IRNA as saying.

He added that bilateral economic cooperation could expand through better road and railway links.

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