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No reference to Iran in Indo-US nuke deal: Govt
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August 21, 2007
The landmark Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement, known as 123 Agreement, has no reference to the country's ties with Iran, the government informed Rajya Sabha today.

"No" was Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dinsha Patel's reply to a question on whether the United States was pressuring New Delhi under the 123 Agreement to cancel import of natural gas from Iran through the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline.

"In the recently finalised India-US Agreement for cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy, there are no references to any issues related to Iran," he said in a written reply.

He said the government was pursuing import of natural gas from Iran through the 7-billion-dollar pipeline.

"GAIL (India) Ltd and Indian Oil [Get Quote] Corp, the public sector companies involved with the project, have spent about Rs 3.50 crore on technical and financial consultants appointed for the project," he said.

To a separate question, Patel said Oil and Natural Gas Corp has made six new oil and gas discoveries -- two each in Assam and Gujarat and one each in Tripura and Andhra Pradesh -- in May.

"Out of these, two oil and gas discoveries in Assam have been put on production as the required surface facilities were available near the discovery wells. Remaining four discoveries are at various stages of appraisal," he said.

ONGC [Get Quote] in the past 20 years has accredited 3,990 million barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas. "However, ONGC has not made a single major discovery as large as 500 million barrels of oil equivalent of recoverable reserves," Patel said.


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