India's Gail keen on selling scarce natural gas to Pakistan

Despite India's fuel starvation, the government is apparently keen to export natural gas to Pakistan – as much as 400 million cubic feet of gas per day.

The agreement to pipe gas directly to Pakistan hinges on whether the tariff is on "the lower side", Pakistan's federal minister for petroleum and natural resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told newspersons in Islamabad.

He said a team from GAIL India, the state-owned gas distribution monopoly, had met him along with a joint secretary of the Indian government to assess Pakistan's willingness to import gas from India.

''Since the country is energy deficient, we showed our willingness, and our experts would soon visit India to sort out the technical issues involved. After the report of the technical team, both the countries will initiate talks on the gas tariff issue,'' Abbasi said.

He said India would dedicate a pipeline from Jalundher to Attari and onwards to Wagha. If the agreement comes through, the project will take at least 18 months to complete. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) would be pumped directly into the pipeline for Pakistan.

Pakistan's demand for gas stands at 8 billion cubic feet while the current production is 4 billion cubic feet.

Pakistan needs gas from all possible sources as it has no large gas reserves. "So we need to exploit all indigenous and external potential to tap gas to cater to the country's needs," the senior minister in the recently elected Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz said.