• 3 minutes Nucelar Deal Is Dead? Iran Distances Itself Further From ND, Alarming Russia And France
  • 5 minutes Don Jr. Tweets name Ukraine Whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella. Worked for CIA during Obama Administration, Hold over to Trump National Security Counsel under Gen McCallister, more . . . .
  • 9 minutes Shale pioneer Chesepeak will file bankruptcy soon. FINALLY ! The consolidation begins
  • 12 minutes China's Blueprint For Global Power
  • 6 hours EU has already lost the Trump vs. EU Trade War
  • 14 hours Judge Orders Trump To Release Tax Returns
  • 3 hours Who writes this stuff? "Crude Prices Swing Between Gains, Losses"
  • 2 hours Climate Change Consensus Shifts in Wind, But Gas Is Still the Right Move
  • 4 hours World oil demand will keep growing until 2030, climate-damaging emissions longer, says IEA
  • 9 hours Shale Gas News – November 9, 2019
  • 12 hours ''Err ... but Trump ...?'' #thedonkeystays
  • 5 hours Does .001 of Atmosphere Control Earth's Climate?!
  • 15 hours Offshore SE Asia: Offshore OFS Could Get Major Boost in SE Asia
  • 5 hours Atty General Barr likely subpeona so called whistleblower and "leaker" Eric Ciaramella
  • 14 hours The lies and follies of the "cry wolf" enviros: No more fire in the kitchen: Cities are banning natural gas in homes to save the planet
  • 16 hours Saudi Aramco IPO Will Not Save Kingdom
  • 5 hours Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, Ukraine Oil & Gas exploration company Burisma, and 2020 U.S. election shenanigans
  • 15 hours China's Renewables Boom Hits the Wall
Alt Text

It’s “Feast-to-Famine” For The Global Gas Industry

Oversupply and high stockpiles have…

Alt Text

Natural Gas Glut Is Crushing US Drillers

U.S. natural gas producers are…

Jen Alic

Jen Alic

 

More Info

Premium Content

How Far Will the US Go to Derail Iran-Pakistan Pipeline?

Next week Iran and Pakistan will begin work on a $7.5 billion gas pipeline that the US has been fighting tooth and nail to stop in all manner of proxy methods.

On 11 March, Pakistani officials braved the “international community” by announcing that “groundbreaking” work on the 780-kilometer pipeline would begin on the Pakistani side of the border, marking the start of construction by an Iranian-Pakistani consortium.

Just prior to the announcement, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran.

The Pakistani portion of the pipeline will cost around $1.5 billion. This is the key here because the 900-kilometer Iranian portion of the pipeline is already nearing completion.


The pipeline will go ahead largely because Pakistan’s energy crisis dictates that it must. And even US sanctions won’t prevent it, and threats emanating from Washington (largely through the US mainstream media) are only working to increase already volatile anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.

Related article: RUSSIA-ISRAEL: New Oil & Gas Geopolitics in the Mediterranean

The US State Department has warned of sanctions, but is keeping a low profile on direct threats until the pipeline deal is sealed. It’s still working the back rooms to stop the deal, but Iran is working even harder—namely by putting up the bulk of the funding for the Pakistani portion of the pipeline.

So far, while the US has promised to offer Pakistan a better deal than a pipeline with Iran, we haven’t seen anything concrete that can compete with this type of energy security. After all, the pipeline will bring Pakistan some 21.5 million cubic meters of gas a day.

The US had been hoping to lure Pakistani into an alternative pipeline deal – the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, which would bypass Iran. The TAPI pipeline, however, is a stop-and-start project that has its own security issues to deal with: it would be either targeted by the Taliban or the Taliban would have to be figured in as benefactors, which would mean much for the conflict in Afghanistan. Even the most optimistic observers put a completion date at around 2018.

Washington remains adamant that the pipeline is a violation of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. But Islamabad is unmoved by the threats and President Zardari has intimated that the pipeline deal will go through despite external influence.

"Nobody has the power to halt this project," he was quoted by The Express Tribune newspaper in Pakistan as saying.

Related article: TURKEY-ISRAEL: Gas Pipeline Rumors Are Geopolitically Tectonic

Of course, it’s not an easy time for Zardari, whose five-year term is coming to an end, leaving open a window of opportunity for external influence in the election process to various ends. Pakistan's parliament is due to dissolve in two weeks in preparation for elections that will tentatively be held in mid-May.

There are other ways to sabotage this pipeline as well. The pipeline runs through some extremely insecure territory in Balochistan, which is likely to become a new (old) frontline in regional pipeline wars in the immediate-medium-term future.

The US and Saudi Arabia are willing to go quite far in derailing this project. They’ve already succeeded to some extent. Originally, the pipeline was meant to include India and was dubbed the “Peace Pipeline”.

Under pressure from Washington (plus a controversially generous gift of civilian nuclear technology access), India backed out in 2009.

So with India out of the equation, all attention turned to another front to derail this pipeline—Balochistan. The US and Saudi Arabia are both fomenting separatism in Balochistan, which is a convenient venue for stirring up trouble. The Pakistani province has huge gas reserves and vast mineral resources, coupled with an ongoing, armed dispute between economically, culturally and socially marginalized Balochi nationalists who have serious grievances against Pakistan's Punjab-dominated federal government.

Iran has a problem with Balochi separatists, the latter occasionally clashing with Iranian forces in Baloch-dominated regions across the border. The US is hoping that if the Balochis are empowered to step up the conflict, Iran could be forced to back down from its pipeline plans in light of the security situation. So far, this proxy war in Balochistan has been a major hindrance to Iran, but the end result is that it has only further inspired the pipeline plans.

By. Jen Alic of Oilprice.com




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment
  • Mark chambers on March 05 2013 said:
    We are still the worst, and proud of it. Enjoy it while it lasts, for it can not do so indefinitly.
  • ToNYC on March 05 2013 said:
    So if you strip out the agendas that require belief to maintain, you have two sovereign entities being blocked in essential economic trade. Rome wasn't bilked in a day.
  • David Mills on March 06 2013 said:
    IMHO in relation to the above, the operative phrase is: Render Unto Caesar the Things Which Are Caesar's... Peace (probably not actually).
  • Kamran on March 06 2013 said:
    Jen Alic: Sabotage is a serious accusation. What is the proof for it?

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play