India presents gas options to Turkmenistan

May 26, 2010 at 9:38 AM
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NEW DELHI, May 26 (UPI) -- Natural gas from Turkmenistan could flow to northern Iran and swapped for gas through an undersea pipeline, New Delhi said during talks with Turkmen officials.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov arrived in New Delhi this week for his first state visit to India. The Turkmen president before his trip called for the independent launch of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline

New Delhi officials told the visiting president that India was eager to have a technical meeting on the pipeline under the sponsorship of the Asian Development Bank, Indian newspaper The Hindu reports.

Indian government officials, meanwhile, said they were interested in having Turkmenistan export to northern Iran in a swap for exports through an underwater pipeline. That pipeline, part of broader South Asian initiative, would diminish the need for the planned overland Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, the report said.

Pakistan and India have plans to build a pipeline from the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf. India expressed renewed interest in the project but raised concerns over the security of the pipeline in Pakistan.

The Gas Authority of India Ltd. has a cooperation agreement for the sea route, though it would require input from Islamabad as it would pass over the Pakistani continental shelf.

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