Iran News ...


05/02/08

Oil Ministers of India, Pak, Iran to hold talks on pipeline soon

New Delhi, May 2, IRNA -- The oil Ministers of India, Pakistan and Iran will soon hold talks to sort out "safety and security issues" pertaining to the $ 7.4 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline that would pass through Pakistan.

India also broached the topic of early clearance for the $ 22 billion Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) gas supply deal issue with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his short visit here on Tuesday.

He is understood to have promised to look into the whole issue in a positive frame of mind.

His visit also broke India's eight-month non-participation in the pipeline talks, Hindu reported here Friday quoting highly placed sources.

"The meeting with the Iranian President was very good. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh conveyed India's keenness to join the project.

Certain other issues were also taken up for discussion but I cannot disclose the details as various issues need to be sorted out before things concretize," Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora said.

The sources said the oil Ministers of the three nations could meet some time next month to chalk out a road map for implementing various stages of the pipeline deal.

"The Iranian President suggested a 45-day time frame for settling various issues in order to pave the way for signing of a trilateral agreement to lay the 2,700-km pipeline. As for the LNG deal, there are certain legal and price-related problems that need to be sorted out," a senior official said.

The sources said India also wanted Iran to hand over custody of gas on the India-Pakistan border and not on the Iran-Pakistan border as suggested by Tehran in order to cut down the risk of transit through Pakistan.

It also opposed a price revision clause that Iran is seeking to insert in the Gas Sales Agreement.

At the same time, New Delhi also urged Iran to dedicate a particular gas field like South Pars for the IPI pipeline and sought third party certification of its reserves.

It sought to know the alternative supply sources in the event of depletion of reserves.

... Payvand News - 05/02/08 ... --



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