India has rejected talking with Iran on gas import through Pakistan, Hamidreza Araqi, managing director of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), has said.
“For the time being, India is not interested in extending gas pipeline from Pakistan and therefore they have withdrawn from negotiations,” he said.
Iran has started construction of a pipeline from South Pars to Pakistan’s borders, with 180 km of the pipeline being incomplete as of now.
In early 2000s, the pipeline was expected to deliver gas to Pakistan and India, but New Dehli withdrew from the deal during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency, started in 2005.
Pakistan also hasn’t started construction of pipeline in its territory, despite an agreement that commits Islamabad to start Iranian gas import in early 2015.
Araqi said India is interested in transferring Iran’s gas through subsea lines to the country, though this entails higher costs, he noted.
“Such issues should be settled technically,” he said, adding that India is still seeking to buy the Iranian gas.
Araqi referred to the neighbouring countries as the main market for the Iranian gas, noting that Iran faces no problems in selling its gas and can sell gas to many of the neighbouring countries.
Iran currently exports 8.4 billion cubic meters of gas per year (bcm/y) to Turkey, its sole client.
Iran also has 18.25 bcm/y and 10 bcm/y gas export deals with Iraq and Oman, respectively.
Currently, Iran imports about 9 bcm/y of Turkmen gas as well.
Araqi also referred to the issue of buying and importing gas from Turkmenistan, saying there is good cooperation between Iran, Turkey and Turkmenistan in the gas sector.
Iran has the capacity to import gas from Turkmenistan and supply it to other markets, Araqi said.