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Iran 'Likely' To Abandon Pakistan Gas Project

Workers stand by as a security helicopter lands near the pipeline during a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the inauguration of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, in the city of Chahbahar, in March.
The Iranian oil minister says Tehran will probably abandon a multibillion-dollar contract to supply natural gas to Pakistan.

Bijan Zanganeh said on October 30 that the contract "is likely to be annulled."

However, Pakistan's Oil Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said "there is absolutely no chance [of abandoning] the project, because we need it."

Under the contract, Iran was to export 21.5 million cubic meters of gas per day to Pakistan from next year.

The $7.5 billion project has faced repeated delays, however.

Iran has nearly completed the 900-kilometer stretchof pipeline to the border, but Pakistan has faced problems paying for its 780-kilometer section amid warnings it could be in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Until now, Iranian officials have insisted the project will be completed. Iran currently produces around 600 million cubic meters of gas per day, almost all of which is consumed domestically.

Its only foreign client is Turkey.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP