Gazprom, Pakistan sign memorandum

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MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russian natural gas giant Gazprom and Pakistan's petroleum ministry have signed a memorandum cementing agreements on cooperation in the oil and gas sector, the company said Friday.

The sides agreed to prospect and develop natural gas fields in Pakistan and use natural gas as motor fuel. Under the memo, the parties will jointly operate Pakistan's underground storage facilities for natural gas, work on transnational gas pipelines, and train oil and gas experts for Pakistan.

Pakistan's established natural gas reserves total 800 billion cu m, making the country the sixth largest natural gas producer in the Asia-Pacific region after Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, China and India. In 2004, Pakistan produced and consumed 27.4 billion cu m of gas, up 8.7% on 2003. Pakistan exports and imports natural gas.

The country's petroleum ministry forecasted that the demand for natural gas would rise to 44.5 billion cu m annually by 2010.

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