India said it is optimistic about the ambitious seven billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project taking a concrete shape.
The three countries already had secretary-level and ministerial-level meetings in this connection, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora said in London.
"We have been informed that a final decision on the issue would be taken by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Majlis.
"We are sure Iran will honour their agreement to provide five million tonnes of liquefied natural gas to India from 2009-10 for 25 years," Deora told reporters here at the conclusion of his visit to Vienna and the UK.
In Vienna, he attended the 3rd OPEC International Seminar. The minister said "Pakistan is also very keen that the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project goes through."
The proposed pipeline is expected to transport 90 million standard cubic metres of gas every day from Iran's South Pars fields to India from 2009-10 onwards while Pakistan would receive 60 million standard cubic meters.
"There are a lot of hurdles but we hope to make things work. We need the gas from Iran to meet energy needs of India and we are committed to make the project happen," Deora said.
He said "we are also positive about the Turkemenistan Afghanistan Pakistan India (TAPI) pipeline initiative of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)."
Earlier in the day, Deora participated in a conference organized by the Judge Business School, Cambridge at Cambridge on "Business prospects and geopolitics in Central Eurasia".
During his address, he emphasized the crucial role that Eurasia would play in the energy sector with its hydrocarbon endowment.
Deora outlined a three-point strategy for Indian engagement with the region. They are to actively participate in the development of the hydrocarbons in the Eurasian region by acquisition of equity oil and gas in the region, evacuation of oil and gas through transnational pipelines and a regime of cross investments between them.
Deora said "we had also discussed the idea of a potential gas grid from North and Central Asia to Far East region. China, Korea, Japan and India are expected to drive gas demand in the future whereas North and Central Asia have abundant reserves of gas, making them natural partners.
"The gas grid envisages pipelines traversing through gas producing countries like Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran etc to gas consumers like China, India, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Pakistan, Turkey etc."
"The projected benefits of such a gas grid are enormous both in monetary terms as well as in terms of contribution to energy security. This concept, if feasible, can be truly termed as an energy bridge to prosperity. We are also looking at extending the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan pipeline to India."
Responding to a query on China, the minister said Indian and Chinese companies are working on a framework of cooperation and the joint acquisition in the Colombian Upstream Sector is a fine example of the emerging energy cooperation between the two countries.