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Indo-Iran feasibility study on oil pipeline outside Pakistan: Naik

New Delhi, Feb 21, IRNA - India's Petroleum Minister Ram Naik said on Thursday that there was no question of speaking with Pakistan on the proposed Indo-Iran oil pipeline as Tehran and New Delhi have decided to undertake a feasibility study for an offshore pipeline which would be outside Pakistan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Naik informed Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament), "We have not talked to Pakistan and neither do we intend to do so," reported Press Trust of India on Friday.

He said the two nations had decided to undertake "an offshore feasibility study for laying the pipeline from Iran to India outside the EEZ of Pakistan".

"No decision on an on-land pipeline from Iran to India passing through Pakistan has been taken," he said, adding National Iranian Gas Export Company and Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) have been nominated as the nodal agencies for the pipeline project by the two governments.

The two companies had jointly commissioned an offshore pipeline feasibility study and "a decision to take up the project would depend on technical feasibility and economic viability of the project", Indian Petroleum Minister said.

To further questions on the estimated expenditure involved in the project and India's share in it, Naik said it would be assessed only after the techno-economic feasibility report was finalized.

He said the two nations had signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the visit last month of Iranian President for mutual cooperation in hydrocarbon sector including natural gas and liquefied natural gas.

... Payvand News - 2/21/03 ... --

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