NEW DELHI, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- An Indian trade association called on the nation's Oil Ministry to get behind an underwater natural gas project to help meet long-term energy needs.
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, known also as Assocham, sent a letter to Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily calling for more support for a sub-sea pipeline being planned by South Asia Gas Enterprises.
D.S. Rawat, secretary-general of Assocham, said in a letter published Tuesday the undersea option may be better for India than overland considerations like a pipeline planned from Iran through Pakistan and a rival project from Turkmenistan, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline.
"One of the important features of this pipeline corridor is that it will completely bypass Pakistan thus averting major threat perception from fundamentalist elements and resultant supply disruption," he said in his letter to Moily.
Rawat said it would be difficult for independent companies like SAGE to develop pipelines without substantial government support given the complex geopolitical dynamics of the energy sector.
SAGE says its deep water gas pipeline would stretch more than 800 miles from the Persian Gulf region to supply India with as much as 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the next 20 years.