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Pakistan signs offshore pipeline agreement with Gazprom

Reuters  |  ISLAMABAD 

By Drazen Jorgic

(Reuters) - has signed a provisional agreement with Russian giant on a feasibility study for an offshore pipeline that would from the to and other parts of

The memorandum of understanding is the latest in a series of energy-related agreements between and Russia, former Cold War foes who have grown closer in recent years.

An offshore pipeline from has long been discussed by Pakistani officials, but its viability has been questioned due to the delicate geopolitical situation in and the rivalry between nuclear-armed neighbours and Pakistan.

U.S. sanctions against are also a major hindrance for most in the region, with the offshore spur from to Pakistan and set to cost an estimated $10 billion, according to Pakistani media.

"(The agreement) provides for a joint feasibility study regarding from the to South Asian countries," said in a statement on Wednesday, without specifically mentioning Iran or

Pakistan's said it would take three to four years to complete the pipeline, which would include "other ancillary projects such as Under Ground Gas storage, desalination and other power projects."

Pakistan will import some 500 million to 1 billion cubic feet of gas a day from sources, the ministry said, according to the agreement signed with Pakistan's state-run infrastructure arm (ISGS).

previously signed an intergovernmental agreement with to discuss the import of liquefied (LNG) to Pakistan, one of the world's fastest growing LNG markets.

But a $2 billion North-to deliver gas from Pakistan's coastal regions to industrial areas in the north has been held up since 2015 due to a disagreement over fees and U.S. sanctions against Russian

(Reporting by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Tom Hogue)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 07 2019. 17:44 IST