Pakistan will live to regret not finishing construction on the Iran-Pak gas pipeline, with Oman tying up loose ends in its $60 billion deal with Iran for importing 20 million cubic metres of gas per day for the next 25 years. Kuwait is also in the mix, and the benefits of this deal for Oman are limitless. For starters, with the amount of gas being imported from Iran, Oman can export as much as fifty percent to takers such as South Korea, India and Japan. Although it is not certain whether the final plans for the pipeline have been laid as of yet, with the direction of the future pipeline under question, Pakistan will be the only loser as a result of this agreement.

Pakistan caved into the pressure from US sanctions and reneged on its promises to finish construction of the pipeline even after Iran waived the daily $1 million penalty after a failure to meet the deadline on our part. Iran coming to terms with another country was to be expected, considering that Pakistan is not the only country looking for gas in an increasingly scarce market. The government looks set to resume talks with Iran and this deal with Oman is quite obviously on their minds as well, with options running out fast.

The chances of the TAPI pipeline agreement turning into reality are going to get slimmer if relations with India get worse as a result of the government conceding power over foreign relations. And with both deals off the table, and an increasingly unreliable gas supply of our own, with experts speculating that the next six years might see the supply cut by half, the CNG industry will not be the only one down in the dumps. Solutions to the energy crisis hang in the balance as well, with the majority of electricity supplied from thermal and gas generation stations. The government better get going, or risk exacerbating the problems the country already faces.