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India very much part of Iran gas pipeline project: Nejad-Hosseinian

New Delhi, May 2, IRNA-Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Hadi Nejad Hosseinian, who is in New Delhi to meet Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, on Tuesday told reporters that Tehran has set July as the deadline to sign a deal for the over seven billion dollar pipeline project, failing which it would pursue bilateral exports to Pakistan.

"India was very much a part of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project and that the three countries may decide to build a parallel pipeline as the demand grows", he said.

He said the pipeline would have a capacity of 110 million standard cubic meter per day of which 30-35 mmscmd would be used for meeting the demand in eastern part of Iran.

Pakistan has indicated a requirement of 30-60 mmscmd, while India needs 90 mmscmd from the pipeline.

"The demand will ramp up over five years and initially the capacities can be divided on pro-rata basis," he said, adding that for meeting further demand, a parallel pipeline may be laid.

Earlier in the day, Deora asserted that India was serious about the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and the US cannot pressurize New Delhi into walking out of the project.

"I don't think America is pressurizing us on the issue. I think America cannot pressurize us (to walk out of the project)," Deora said.

"We are very serious on this issue and it's not me but the prime minister, who made the statement that the pipeline is for peace and progress of the region," he said.

... Payvand News - 5/2/06 ... --

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