Islamabad has suggested the near-800km Pakistani segment of the planned 750mn cfd Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project will be completed by end-2014. But a combination of financial and political obstacles mean a completion date of 2017 is more likely, MEES learns.

Pakistan’s newly elected government, led by prime minster Nawaz Sharif, last month confirmed it would be pursuing the much-anticipated natural gas pipeline project – dubbed the ‘peace-pipeline’ – despite mounting US-led pressure to abandon it. Iran has already built most of the 1,050km leg from Assaluyeh on Iran’s south coast, to its border with Pakistan (see map); while Pakistan only began work on its leg of the project in early March (MEES, 15 March). (CONTINUED - 973 WORDS)