Gas pipeline talks end without any deal
The next round of talks are scheduled for Islamabad on April 30, 2006.india Updated: Mar 16, 2006 18:58 IST
Talks between India, Iran and Pakistan on building a new gas pipeline ended on Thursday without any agreement and a new round of negotiations is scheduled for late April.
"Iran made a proposal on the price (of gas) that we must examine," India's Petroleum Secretary MS Srinivasan told reporters in televised remarks.
Iran's state news agency confirmed Tehran had proposed a price for gas, but India and Pakistan said they needed time for consultations.
The next round of talks are scheduled for Islamabad on April 30, state television reported.
The sides had hoped to settle on the framework for the project that would see Iranian gas travel by pipeline through Pakistan to India. They are yet to sign a memorandum to set the long-stalled project in motion.
Iran has its own hurdles to clear as well.
"We have told them that a government commitment necessitates a vote in the Iranian parliament and we will need another six or seven extra months for that," Deputy Oil Minister Mohammad-Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian said on television.
The 2,600-kilometre (1,600-mile) pipeline from Iran's southern Pars field, estimated to cost more than seven billion dollars (€5.9 billion), was first proposed in 1994.
India plans to initially draw 60 million cubic metres (2.11 billion cubic feet) of gas from the pipeline and increase the quantity to 90 million cubic metres (3.17 billion cubic feet) within two to three years.
Pakistan has estimated its initial demand at 30 million cubic metres which would double by 2013.
First Published: Mar 16, 2006 17:33 IST