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'IPI, LNG deal talks to conclude by year-end'

Iran says that it will raise the quota of oil and gas to New Delhi and is also thinking of reviving the LNG deal.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2006 20:56 IST

Iran was positive about reaching an agreement with India on a tri-nation gas pipeline and LNG deal by this year end and said on Friday, it was also ready to raise quota of oil and gas to New Delhi.

The possibility of revival of the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) deal first emerged when Tehran on Thursday, offered a new price and New Delhi responded by saying it too was willing to pay a little more for importing five million tonnes of natural gas from 2009.

The deal between the two nations struck last year had turned cold after India rejected Iran's demand for 5.10 dollars per mBtu as against the originally agreed price of 2.90 per mBtu.

While proposing the reduced rate, Iran asked India to respond within three days. "I hope and I am confident that before the end of the year, we will be able to finalise these two important projects (Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline and LNG deal)," visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters in the national capital.

He said there is a serious will and flexibility on part of both countries to implement these deals, which have been described by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a "symbol of friendship".

On the $22 billion LNG deal, which failed to take off because of differences over pricing, Mottaki said he had offered a new price to India.

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, after his talks with Mottaki, said the two sides would start working on the basis of the new Iranian offer.

First Published: Nov 17, 2006 20:56 IST