Tuesday, December 07, 2004

India urges Iran to deliver gas at border

India urges Iran to deliver gas at border: "India urges Iran to deliver gas at border:
[India News]: New Delhi, Dec 6 : India Monday urged Iran to "negotiate a transit corridor" with others in the region for delivery of gas on the border while seeking wider cooperation in the energy sector.

"We could receive from Iran vast quantities of natural gas at an appropriate point on our border. It would be for Iran to work out how to deliver the gas to us, either directly on its own or in association with others in the region," Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar told the Iran and Middle East gas forum in Tehran.

Emphasising India's growing dependence on imports for its oil and gas requirement, the minister said over the next 20 years "our demand for natural gas is going to grow to at least 400 million standard cubic metres per day (100 million tonnes per year".

Seeking wider cooperation, the minister in his address, made available here, emphasised India's keenness and dependence on the gas rich country for future supplies while urging it not to link purchase of gas to India's participation in its exploration activities.

India's attempt to get a share in Iran's exploration activities are held up due to both sides not having as yet finalised the quantum and price of the gas Indian companies would have to pay to source the energy fuel.

Iran is keen that India import around five to seven million tonnes of gas annually either through pipeline route or as liquefied natural gas (LNG). During his visit, the minister is expected to push for the conclusion of the pending agreement.

"We can be of some assistance in refurbishing your refineries and in undertaking greenfield refinery projects. We also can be of assistance in establishing and running oil tank farms in Iran as we are doing for example in Sri Lanka," said Aiyar.

He urged Iran to look at India's cooperation in the field of retailing of petroleum products.

In the upstream sector, Aiyar said, "We are excited about the prospect of becoming partners with Iran in exploration and production in Iran and even in India."

Iran has accorded India in principle recognition as sole operator in some small fields and as operator in association with others and the state-owned Iranian energy majors in the larger fields.

"There are enticing new prospects in southern Iran. You will find in India an enthusiastic partner in those fields too," the minister said.

He expressed happiness at Iran's participation in the Asian Suppliers and Buyers Meet being organised in the capital on Jan 6 in association with Kuwait and International Energy Forum as co-hosts.

--Indo-Asian News Service"

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