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Iranian official: Europe likely substitute for India, Pakistan in gas deal

Tehran, July 1, IRNA-An Oil Ministry official on Saturday implicitly spoke of the possibility of substituting India and Pakistan with Europe in a gas deal, saying the supply to the two neighbors might be lower than expected.

"Based on the national gas (supply-demand) balance, no surplus will remain for exports to Europe if a pipeline with the capacity for transfer of 150 million cubic meters/day to India and Pakistan is laid. If Europe gas demand equals the amount, no gas will remain for India and Pakistan. In that case, gas supply to India and Pakistan will be possible by lowering the figure," said Deputy Oil Minister for International and Caspian Sea Affairs Mohammad-Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian here on Saturday when asked whether Europe will replace India and Pakistan in the gas deal.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to inaugurate the Tehran branch of Thailand's PTTP oil company, Nejad-Hosseinian hoped talks with several European partners on gas will be fruitful.

Nejad-Hosseinian also referred to a delay in talks with the Indian and Pakistani partners on gas, saying it has been postponed to the fourth week of July from the third week in the same month.

He said that definitely, both India and Pakistan will benefit from the gas deal in that bilateral political relations will expand and the two will get closer to the huge source of energy in the region.

The Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project envisages a pipeline of about 2,600-kilometers (1,600-miles) that would help meet India's growing need for energy.

The United States has voiced opposition to the project.

... Payvand News - 7/2/06 ... --

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