New Delhi, Dec 7, IRNA-Oil ministers of India, Iran and Pakistan will be meeting next month in Tehran to deliberate on the issue of supply of natural gas through a pipeline that is expected to take shape "very soon," the Indian government told the Lok Sabha (lower house of Indian Parliament) in New Delhi on Thursday.
"The government is serious about pursuing the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project. A meeting of oil secretaries of the three countries took place recently. The ministers will be meeting next month. Very soon this proposal will take shape," Indian Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said during a question hour in parliament.
He was replying to a question on the proposed seven billion US dollar pipeline project and whether Washington was indirectly putting pressure on India not to go ahead with it as it involved Iran, which is to be the supplier of the gas. The minister did not comment on the alleged US role.
On joint exploration of Indian hydrocarbon deposits with foreign countries, Deora said the government effort was intended to reduce dependence on imported crude oil as it wanted prices of petroleum products in the country to remain stable.
Oil wells in the country were being jointly explored with companies from Russia, China and Sudan, he said.
He also referred to the recent fluctuations in oil prices in international markets and measures taken by the government to raise and then reduce prices of petrol and diesel.
On supply of LPG for domestic use in places beyond Delhi and Mumbai, Deora said the required insfrastructure was being laid to ensure supply of piped gas for domestic purposes all over the country in the next six to seven years and 3.0 to 3.5 million homes were expected to benefit.
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