'India, Iran, Pak closer on pipeline deal' | india | Hindustan Times
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'India, Iran, Pak closer on pipeline deal'

Reports says they are getting closer to a deal on a multi-billion dollar pipeline to transport gas from energy-rich Iran through Pakistan.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2007 13:25 IST

Representatives of India, Iran and Pakistan are set to meet for a second day on Friday in New Delhi amid reports they were getting closer to a deal on a multi-billion dollar pipeline to transport gas from energy-rich Iran through Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have agreed to pay energy-rich Iran 4.93 dollars per million British thermal units for its gas, the Press Trust of India news agency said, finalising one of the thorny issues in the fuel negotiations.

The three countries were due to meet again on Friday to hammer out issues such as how often pricing should be revised, the news agency said.

Iran would like the formula to be revised every three years instead of the previously agreed seven.

Separately, in bilateral talks on Wednesday, an agreement was reached on some of the fees India must pay Pakistan for the movement of gas through the latter's 1,050 kilometre (650 miles) stretch of the pipeline.

India will pay Pakistan the transport tariff it requested of 0.70-0.75 dollars per million British thermal units but the two countries are yet to agree on transit fees.

Oil ministers of the three countries would will meet in July to sign the framework agreement on the 7.4 billion dollar pipeline, Oil minister Murli Deora said last week.

The 2,600 kilometre (1,600 mile) pipeline from Iran's giant South Pars gas field will initially carry around 60 million standard cubic metres per day of gas.

Talks on the proposal started in 1994, but have been stalled because of technical and commercial issues.

There have also been strong objectiosn to the pipeline from the United States, which has locked horns with Tehran over its atomic programme.

India, which currently imports more than 70 per cent of its energy needs, has been seeking new supplies of oil and gas from abroad besides ramping up production from domestic sources to fuel its economic growth.