A plan to pipe oil and gas from Turkey to Israel and then ship it to India will be discussed when officials from the three countries meet soon, media reports said on Tuesday. The proposal would allow India easier access to energy supplies from Central Asia and the Caspian region, the Press Trust of India news agency quoted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying.
Erdogan was speaking on Monday during a meeting with business leaders in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. The proposed route comes after a long-planned pipeline that would have linked India to Iran through Pakistan failed to materialize, held up by disagreements over costs, Indian fears about the pipeline's security, and strong US opposition.
Turkey has positioned itself as a regional energy hub for routes bypassing Iran.
The planned pipeline would run from the Caspian region to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. From there a pipeline would run to Israel's Eilat port on the Red Sea.
Shipping the crude and gas from Eilat would allow Indian tankers to avoid the Suez Canal.
Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler told the Mint financial paper that Turkey had already conducted a feasibility study for the project and officials would likely meet in Turkey in the next month.