India invites Iran to resume IPI talks

Business Materials 19 April 2010 11:26 (UTC +04:00)

India has invited Iran to continue the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline talks, the National Iranian Oil Company deputy director said.

SHANA news agency quoted Hojjatollah Ghanimifard as saying that the meeting will also provide the grounds for establishment of a joint economic commission.

He went on to note that the Russian and Chinese companies are keen to participate in the IPI pipeline project.

Iran and Pakistan signed a deal in March to construct the multi-billion dollar natural gas pipeline connecting the two neighboring countries.

Ghanimifard told the Mehr news agency that the Russian Gazprom Company and a Chinese firm have announced their readiness to take part in the construction of 2,200 kilometers of the pipeline.

Around 1,100 kilometers of the pipeline, will be built in Iran, while the remaining 1,000 kilometers will be set up in Pakistan.

"This Chinese company wants to invest in the Pakistani part of the pipeline," Ghanimifard said without revealing the name of the firm.

He added that Gazprom previously also "announced its readiness and interest to participate in the gas pipeline."

The official also said that Pakistan has asked Iran to increase its gas exports to Pakistan from 21.5 million cubic meters (mcm) per day to 30 mcm.

"Based on the agreement, the amount of Iran's gas exports to Pakistan was 21.5 million cubic meters per day that will be increased to 30 million cubic meters (mcm) per day," the official said.

The deal is part of the long-delayed $7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

Price formula only issue in IPI gas project: Pakistan

There is no international pressure involved in halting the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, Pakistan's the Nation website quoted Mani Shankar Ayer, former petroleum minister of India, as saying.

He was talking to the media on the sidelines of the meeting between former foreign ministers of Pakistan and India on Friday

He said there was no international pressure involved in IPI gas pipeline, while the real issue was of price formula on the project and thus the issue of the price must be discussed.