New Delhi, Jun 24: Officials from India, Pakistan and Iran are to meet in July at Tehran to take forward a 7.6 billion dollars project to pipe Iranian gas to the South Asian nations. Speaking to the media on Monday, June 23, on the sidelines of a symposium on 'Safety Instrumentation in Oil and Gas industry' the Oil and Petroleum Secretary, M S Srinivasan said that India is insisting on gas delivery from Iran at the India-Pakistan border.
He added that the stated position of Iran as of now has been that they would deliver the gas for both the countries at Iran Pakistan border. Srinivasan also said there would be no extension of the deadline for bids for its latest oil and gas asset licencing beyond the end of June. The deadline had been extended three times already, the latest being in May.
India had missed a meeting in September 2007 citing issues with its neighbour, which triggered a pledge from Iran and Pakistan to press ahead without Indian participation.
Analysts say that the Government wants to reduce the risk of supplies being cut during times of tension between the two long-time rivals. India and Pakistan are keen to tie up future energy supplies to fuel their fast-growing economies, but the United States has tried to discourage any deal with Iran in the past, because of Tehran's suspected ambitions to build nuclear weapons.
Work on the pipeline is likely to begin next year (2009) and could be finished by 2012. It would initially transport 60 million cubic metres of gas (2.2 billion cubic feet) daily to Pakistan and India, half for each country. The pipeline's capacity would later rise to 150 million cubic metres.