India pledges natural gas for Pakistan

Aug. 21, 2013 at 6:53 AM

NEW DELHI, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- The Indian government said state-run gas company GAIL India plans to export natural gas converted from liquid form through a pipeline to Pakistan.

Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaaka Lakshmi said GAIL would import liquefied natural gas, convert it back to its gaseous state and export it through a pipeline from Punjab.

"GAIL would enter into the necessary contract for export of regassified-LNG with its Pakistani counterpart," she was quoted Tuesday as saying by The Economic Times of India.

Natural gas would be delivered through a 68-mile pipeline near the western Indian border.

The Indian newspaper didn't indicate the specific origin for the LNG. No deadline was announced. The newspaper said Pakistan has expressed interest in taking on more than 4 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to make up for a lingering energy deficit.

Pakistani Minister of Power and Water Khawaja Asif told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during an Aug. 1 visit to Washington the energy crisis was a "bigger menace to our economy ... than the war on terror."

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