Gazprom, Pakistan Sign Offshore Pipe MoU
Russian giant Gazprom signed a memorandum of understanding with Pakistan’s Inter-State Gas Systems (ISGS) February 6 to study an offshore pipeline from the Middle East to Pakistan, with no concrete projects or sources of gas production identified in the statement.
The document, which serves as a follow-up to the memorandum inked by the Russian and Pakistani energy ministries in September, provides for a joint feasibility study.
In a brief statement Gazprom described ISGS as a subsidiary of Government Holdings Private Limited, which operates under the ministry for energy and implements strategic infrastructure projects in the gas sector.
In 2017 Gazprom was negotiating with Iran to develop the South Pars, Kish and Farzad B gas fields and deliver its share of output to Pakistan and India but Gazprom withdrew from talks when Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.
Meanwhile Iran has built an onshore pipeline to Pakistan to deliver 8bn m3/yr of gas from South Pars field, but Pakistan “apparently says it doesn’t want to take Iranian gas due to sanctions,” according to Iran’s energy minister. The contract stipulated a 2015 start for deliveries but the pipeline still ends at the border.
Pakistani daily The News has reported that the February 6 MoU involves laying more than 1,500 km of offshore gas pipelines at a cost of $10bn in order to transport 0.5-1bn ft3/d (14-28mn m3/d) natural gas from Gazprom’s own sources in the Middle East to Pakistan. It said there was the possibility of extending it further to south Asia.
Gazprom has started exploration and development work at some fields in the Middle East but it has focused on Iraq, which itself suffers from a gas shortage and imports 30mn m3/d from Iran.