Date: 30 September 2022 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński

Russia Reaffirms Its Commitment To Develop Pakistan’s Gas Sector

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Both leaders agreed to continue economic cooperation, with particular regard to energy projects. According to a 2019 deal, Russian gas giant Gazprom will pump a total of $14 billion into the Pakistani gas sector. Russians would invest around $10 billion in an offshore gas pipeline project, $2.5 billion in the North-South pipeline project, and the remaining $1.5 billion on building underground storage facilities.

SOURCE: kremlin.ru

Vladimir Putin said on September 15 that pipeline gas supplies to Pakistan were possible and part of the infrastructure was already in place. The Russian leader met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan. It was the first meeting between Putin and Pakistan’s new prime minister who replaced Imran Khan back in April. “The Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to work closely with Russia to further expand and strengthen cooperation between the two countries across all areas of mutual benefit including food security, trade and investment, energy, defense and security,” according to a statement issued by Prime Minister’s office in Islamabad. It was agreed to hold the next IGC meeting in Islamabad. The authorities in Pakistan urge Gazprom to speed up the construction of the North-South Gas Pipeline. The long-delayed pipeline was to be built by Russian companies. The project, due to be launched in 2020, was delayed after Russia had to replace the initial participant, which was hit by Western sanctions. When Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Moscow on February 23-24, both sides said they had resolved some 90 percent of issues around the project. The two countries agreed in 2015 to build a 1,100 km-long pipeline to deliver imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Karachi on the Arabian Sea coast to power plants in the northeastern province of Punjab. Pakistan and Russia have signed an agreement for the construction of a gas pipeline from Port Qasim in Karachi to Kasur, south to Lahore, at an estimated cost of $3 billion. The pipeline’s designed annual capacity stands at 12.4 billion cubic meters (bcm), with the possibility to be increased to 16 bcm. Pakistan Stream is not the only Russian gas project on Pakistani soil. In 2017, Gazprom signed a cooperation agreement with the Pakistani Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL). Under the deal, Pakistan and Russia pledged to develop hydrocarbon projects in Pakistan and other countries, and to explore whether it is possible to supply gas to Pakistan and elsewhere. In 2018, Gazprom and Pakistan signed a $10 billion deal to conduct a feasibility study to build an offshore pipeline from Iran to Pakistan. Back in 2019, the Russian side pledged an investment of $14 billion in the offshore gas pipeline project, North-South Pipeline Project, and underground gas storage facilities in Pakistan. A sea link between the offshore pipeline and the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline is now being considered. The gas pipeline will also have a connection to the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI).

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