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Safety top priority for Indo-Iran gas pipeline: Naik
May 12, 2003 13:07 IST
Safety will be the top priority for India while deciding the medium of transportation of gas now being negotiated with Iran, Petroleum Minister Ram Naik said in Teheran on Monday.
One of the proposals for taking gas from Iran to India is a pipeline through Pakistan in which Islamabad has shown considerable interest.
"But any final decision will hinge on safety of imports particularly because India may soon have a critical dependance on gas supplies for industry and development," Naik said.
"We are importing 50 per cent of our gas from abroad, which is going up as our energy consumption is rising by five per cent every year," he said.
The second option of a deep-sea pipeline from Iran to India is being given more attention as, an estimate of the cost of the project hanging fire from 1994 is now being done by Iranian national oil company and Gas Authority of India Limited, he said.
India has signed a 25-year agreement for gas imports from Qatar by tankers and the option was also available for Iran.
Naik is heading a high level delegation including M S Srinivasan, additional secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum, Subir Raha, ONGC chairman and managing director, M S Ramachandran, IOC chairman and B S Negi, GAIL (India) director (planning).
Naik said in return for a deal to buy CNG from Iran, a package including Indian investment in Iranian oil fields is being considered.
Offering to share India's experience in using CNG as an automobile fuel, Naik said, "Our experiments in the field are successful. Delhi now has 10,000 buses running on CNG. We have legalised the use of LPG in automobiles and some centres will soon be opnened in major cities."
India has the know-how of building, running and maintaining modern oil refineries, which could be exploited by Iran.
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