Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pakistan and Iran sign gas export deal

TEHRAN: Iran and Pakistan signed a framework agreement on Sunday to
export Iranian natural gas to the neighbouring country during a visit
by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to Tehran.

Iran and Pakistan had agreed on a revised price formula and a new
price review mechanism in December which updated terms reached in 2006
during long-running negotiations on the project.

Iran, which sits on the world's second-biggest gas reserves, imports
roughly about as much gas as it exports. U.S. sanctions have been a
factor hindering Tehran's export plans, which tries to become a major
gas exporter.

An Iranian Oil Ministry official has said he hoped that the
commencement of gas delivery would start five years after the contract
was signed, adding both Iran and Pakistan would welcome India if it
decided to join the project.

India had been part of the $7 billion "peace pipeline" project, but
stayed away from talks in September saying it wanted to agree transit
costs through Pakistan on a bilateral basis first.

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