ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Confusion arose on Thursday about the much-awaited sole mega gas pipeline project signed between Pakistan and Russia.
A question arises that has Pakistan offered South-North Gas Pipeline project to Saudi Arabia or North-South Gas Pipeline that Pakistan signed with Russia in year 2015 after Federal Minister for Petroleum Ghuman Sarwar Khan while addressing a Press Conference in Islamabad on Thursday stated that Pakistan had offered Saudi Arabia to invest in South-North Pipeline project
However, there is no such project namely South-North Gas Pipeline project in the scene. The minister also did not explain that what would be route of this project if any new project is on card namely South-North Gas Pipeline. He did not explain the news further.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet in its meeting held on January 10, 2015 approved the North-South Gas Pipeline Project (Project) under the government-to-government arrangement.
It may be mentioned that Pakistan signed a mega project worth over $10 billion with the Russian government to initiate South-North Gas Pipeline that would carry liquefied gas from Karachi port to Lahore and Kasur.
Pakistan and Russia signed this project in October 2015; however, nothing concrete has so far surfaced and now it looks that this project would be given to Saudi investors.
However, now there is a confusion after Thursday’s press briefing of the petroleum minister because he used the word South-North Gas Pipeline instead of North-South Gas Pipeline though there is no project like South-North Gas Pipeline on available proposed map of new gas pipelines in Pakistan. He gave a estimated cost of this pipeline as worth $2 billion.
Meanwhile, Dawn newspaper reported that while talking to media the petroleum minister said that Saudi investors are interested in North-South Gas pipeline and 10 petroleum exploration blocks that are “to be offered for the auction soon”.
According to available information, the minister told journalists that the two sides had agreed to set up an oil refinery at Gwadar and a summary would be moved to the Federal Cabinet on Thursday (today) for approval to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU). He said that the visiting Saudi delegation was offered to participate in the $2 billion North-South Gas Pipeline and a bid for the upcoming 10 petroleum exploration blocks to be offered for auction soon.