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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 7, 2007
We are stepping up efforts to push through IPI gas project: Deora
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We are stepping up efforts to push through IPI gas project: Deora

India on Monday said it was trying hard for a speedy realization of a planned 7.4-billion-dollar trans-nation Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

Hazira (Gujarat), May 7 : India on Monday said it was trying hard for a speedy realization of a planned 7.4-billion-dollar trans-nation Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said that though the three concerned parties were trying hard to arrive at a solution, it was, however, to early to say anything on it.

"We are trying very hard to push through the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. India and Pakistan will get much needed gas supplies when it comes through. Talks with Pakistan are going on at a high level. I met the Pakistani and Iranian Oil Ministers in Riyadh last month, and the Iranian President in Tehran. We are trying hard to arrive at a solution. It is, however, to early to say anything right now," he said.

The three countries are negotiating supply of natural gas through terrestrial pipelines to feed the growing energy needs of the subcontinent.

But the project has made slow progress, as Tehran has not agreed on pricing as also partly due to political tensions between India and Pakistan.

Iran sits atop the world's second largest gas reserves after Russia. But sanctions, politics and construction delays have slowed its gas development and analysts say it is unlikely to become a major exporter for a decade.

Apart from the pipeline, New Delhi is also negotiating with Iran to secure a deal that would see Tehran supply five million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year over a 25-year-period from 2009.

The Dahej-Panvel-Surat-Dabhol gas pipeline, which Deora re-opened on Monday, had earlier hit a roadblock with Gujarat refusing it the right of way.

The pipe was to feed the mothballed Dabhol Power Project in Maharashtra that would help the state tide over its impeding power crisis.

Work had to be stalled on a 100- kilometer stretch of the proposed 576-kilometre pipeline in Surat in Gujarat, triggering protests in Mumbai.

Gujarat on Friday reportedly communicated to Maharashtra a climb-down from its stance, after intervention from the Central Government.

Deora, however, said all was well between the states and with the project.

"I don't think there is any problem now between Gujarat and Maharashtra or any other state. Whatever little problem or misunderstanding... its all clear now and we are all working in harmony. By next June, mid-June, the gas (supply) will be on," he said.

ANI

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