Iran-India gas pipeline to be a bilateral deal

Himalayan News Service

New Delhi, February 25:

The Iran-India gas pipeline is going to be a bilateral commercial agreement and not a trilateral one including Pakistan, a official close to the negotiations has said. “The pipeline is to be a bilateral commercial agreement between Iran and India for delivery of gas at a point on the border to be indicated by us,” the official, who did not want to be named, revealed. “An international consortium will be set up to undertake the project.”

Addressing the security aspects of the pipeline that has been under discussion for well over a decade, the official said, “What we envisage is an overarching agreement that could take place between the three parties — Iran, Pakistan and India. “It would help boost investor confidence and the overarching agreement would set out the responsibilities of all parties.” Considering the large investment of over $4.5 billion envisaged for gas imports of 75 million metric standard cubic metres a day (MMSCMD), planners feel commitment of everyone involved with the project is essential for its successful execution and operation.

The quantities of gas to be imported, which is now estimated to be 140-150 MMSCMD with India and Pakistan forecasting a higher demand than originally studied, the specification of the gas quality, the price and the routing of the pipeline are all to be discussed.