Pakistan and Iran will sign an agreement on the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline next week, a minister said here on Monday.

Pakistan’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ahsanullah Khan told a news conference that Pakistan and Iran were moving ahead positively on the IPI gas pipeline project and the Gas Supply/Purchase Agreement would be signed next week between the two countries.

He said that India would be most welcome to join the project when it was ready.

However, the Pakistani minister did not say where the agreement would be signed, but said the venue was to be decided.

Over the weekend, Iranian Ambassador in Islamabad Mash-Allah Shakeri also hinted that a final agreement was expected by Jan. 25.

The pipeline, to involve some 7.4 billion U.S. dollars, will run from Iran to India via Pakistan and supply some 90 million cubic meters of Iranian gas to India and 60 million cubic meters to Pakistan every day.

Pakistan pays 665 million U.S. dollars annually on the import of furnace oil and also offers 14 billion rupees (about 23 million U.S. dollars) on petroleum subsidy which will be saved after the IPI project is completed, according to the Pakistani minister.

Pakistan and Iran finalized most of the matters in their talks in last October on the Gas Sale Purchase agreement.

(Rigzone)