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Iran offers pipeline gas at $6 per MBTU

Iran is learnt to have offered gas for the project at $6 per million British thermal unit.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 16:46 IST

Iran is learnt to have offered gas for the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project at USD six per million British thermal unit.

The price along with the project structure was discussed at the first ever secretary-level trilateral meeting of the three countries in Tehran last week to work out an agreement for building the over USD seven billion pipeline project, petroleum ministry sources said.

"For the first time in 18 months, the issue of gas pricing was discussed. Iran has offered gas in the range of six dollar per mbtu to be delivered at Pakistan-Iran border," highly placed sources said.

The issue would be further discussed by officials on April 30 in Islamabad when the three sides meet again, sources said, adding a ministerial-level meeting may also take place later.

"India and Pakistan will have to do some homework to get a correct picture on Ian's offer," they said.

The meeting, held on March 13-15, discussed pricing and project structure. The Indian delegation was led by Petroleum Secretary MS Srinivasan.

The three sides discussed both the proposals for building the 2600-km long pipeline -- either through a consortium involving companies from the three countries or each country building the pipeline on its own.

However, talks ended without any agreement and the three sides agreed to hold another round of negotiations in April.

The three nations had hoped to settle on a 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.

First Published: Mar 20, 2006 16:39 IST