India in talks with Iran, US over gas pipeline project

India in talks with Iran, US over gas pipeline project

Azerbaijan, Baku, Mar.25/ Trend F.Milad‎‏

India is negotiating with Iran and the United States to join the peace pipeline project, Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Veerappa Moily said.

Moily confessed that the pipeline project was beneficial for India, the Indian media reported.

According to the minister, India is discussing the US-generated sanctions on Iran

The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, projected to cost 1.2-1.5 billion dollars, would enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis.

The pipeline stretches from the border between the two countries to Navabshah region in Pakistan, and covers 781 kilometers of its total length of 1,881 kilometers.

Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline's construction plan was officially started on March 11.

Iran plans to extend its 7th cross-country pipeline from Southwestern port city of Assaluyeh to the southeastern city of Iranshahr, and from there to the Pakistan border. By extending the pipeline Iran can also supply gas to its eastern provinces.

An Iranian contractor will lay some 780 kilometers of pipeline in the Pakistan soil in 22 months, he said.

Iran and Pakistan have devised a plan to finance the gas pipeline on Pakistan's side without the need for Islamabad to transfer funds to Tehran.

Based on the agreement, Tehran will grant a $500-million loan to Tehran-based Tadbir Energy Development Group, which is responsible for laying a pipeline in Pakistan under the multi-billion-dollar project.

In the first phase, Iran will lend 250 million dollars and extend the assistance later to 500 million dollars.

Pakistan will pay back Iran's $500-million loan after peace pipeline's inauguration.

The pipeline is projected to come on stream in 2014.

The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, projected to cost 1.2-1.5 billion dollars, would enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis.

Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.

Discussions between the governments of Iran and Pakistan started in 1994. A preliminary agreement was signed in 1995. This agreement foresaw construction of a pipeline from South Pars gas field to Karachi in Pakistan. Later Iran made a proposal to extend the pipeline from Pakistan into India. In February 1999, a preliminary agreement between Iran and India was signed.

In April 2008, Iran expressed interest in the People's Republic of China's participation in the project. In August 2010, Iran invited Bangladesh to join the project.

In 2009, India withdrew from the project over pricing and security issues.

However, in March 2010 India called on Pakistan and Iran for trilateral talks to be held in May 2010 in Tehran.

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