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Russia wants to be partner in Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline

New Delhi, Nov 26, IRNA-Nothwithstanding US reservations on doing business with Iran, Russia is keen to participate in the over seven-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan India gas pipeline project and share the risks involved in this "peace project."

The Russian firm Gazprom wants to be a partner in the construction, operation and maintenance of the 2,500-km pipeline that will transport natural gas from the gigantic South Pars field in the Persian Gulf to India via Pakistan.

"Russia and Russian the company called Gazprom are interested and prepared to share risks along the route of the pipeline and we do hope that other stakeholders (in the project) will be benign towards the possibility of sharing risk with Russia and the Russian company," Russian Energy Minister V Khristenko told reporters on the sidelines of the Asian oil ministers' roundtable conference here.

Asked about the US reservations on doing business with Iran, a country which Washington suspects of harboring nuclear weapon ambitions, he said Russia was prepared to go all the way.

"Yes, we are prepared. Russian involvement, both in shape as project contractor and equity partner, would help the project move from potential planning phase to real-time discussions," he said, adding that the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) project was commercially and technically feasible.

The state-owned gas utility, GAIL India Ltd, has appointed the UK's ILF consulting engineers as its technical consultant to do the pre-feasibility studies on the estimated 2,500-km pipeline.

The ILF report is scheduled to be completed by mid-December 2005.

... Payvand News - 11/26/05 ... --

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