7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Business News

Iran pledges to back gas pipeline

NEW DELHI: Iran's deputy oil minister said yesterday his country is committed to helping build a pipeline that would cut through Pakistan and deliver gas to energy hungry India, adding that he expected deliveries to begin by 2011 or 2012. The three countries are slated in March to sign an agreement on the pipeline project and a framework that would establish a formula for the price of gas shipped through it, Dow Jones Newswires quoted Iran's deputy oil minister, M H Nejad Hosseinian, as saying. The signing would take place in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

"We have a strong will to implement the project," Hosseinian told reporters at the end of a two-day meeting of the India-Iran Joint Working Group of officials. "The delivery of gas, I think, should start in 2011-2012."

The 2,800km pipeline would help meet the growing energy needs of India's booming economy and provide Pakistan with hundreds of millions of dollars in fees. The project is expected to cost nearly $8 billion.

The United States, which is trying to pressure Iran over its nuclear programme, has made its disapproval of the project clear to Pakistan and India. Washington opposes investments that benefit Iran, which it suspects of trying to build atomic weapons.

If the project comes through, India is expected to buy up to 60 million cubic meters of gas a day from Iran, while Pakistan could buy up to 30m cubic metres a day, Dow Jones said.

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