Iran readies gas deal without India

Iran will sign a deal with Pakistan to sell gas to the neighbouring country, even if India, a third party to the deal, walked out.

India stayed away from talks in Tehran on a proposed $7 billion pipeline in September, saying it wanted to agree transit costs through Pakistan on a bilateral basis first. Iran Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said a delegation from Pakistan had arrived in Tehran for two days. Iran will sign a deal with Pakistan, if India does not take part in the project. In July, Iran said India and Pakistan had accepted Iran’s demand for gas price reviews based on market changes, denying reports by some Indian newspapers that the pipeline talks had failed after Iran demanded a review every three years. The pipeline would initially carry 60 million cubic metres of gas daily to Pakistan and India, half for each country. The pipeline’s capacity would later rise to 150 million cubic metres. Iran says it has completed 18% of the work for the pipeline to bring gas from its South Pars field to the Iran-Pakistan border. Pakistan has yet to begin work on a 1000 kilometre stretch of the pipeline to link Iran with India. Iran has the world’s second-largest gas reserves after Russia.

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