Reuters: India, Pakistan and Iran will hold their next round of talks on a proposed $7 billion gas pipeline at the end of the month, and aim to sign a final deal a month later, an Indian oil ministry official said on Wednesday. NOIDA, India (Reuters) – India, Pakistan and Iran will hold their next round of talks on a proposed $7 billion gas pipeline at the end of the month, and aim to sign a final deal a month later, an Indian oil ministry official said on Wednesday.
Indian officials and their Pakistani counterparts will meet in New Delhi on June 27, and all three parties will then hold two days of talks on June 28-29, Petroleum Secretary M.S. Srinivasan told reporters.
“This will pave the way for a ministerial level meeting in the second half of July … We hope to sign a final deal by July-end,” he said.
Iran has the world’s second-largest gas reserves after Russia. However, sanctions, politics and construction delays have slowed its gas development and analysts say Tehran is unlikely to become a major exporter for a decade.
India and Pakistan need to tie up fuel supplies for their energy-hungry economies.
Last week, Iran had said it expected a deal on the pipeline by the end of June.
The proposed pipeline will initially carry 60 million cubic metres of gas to be exported daily to Pakistan and India, half for each country.
The delivery point would be at the Iran-Pakistan border and India is yet to finalise the contract for the transportation costs and the transit fee with Pakistan.
Under the plan, the pipeline’s capacity would be increased to 150 million cubic metres at a later date.