Engineers India, Gazprom to jointly prepare blueprint for Russia-India gas pipeline

Engineers India Ltd and Russia's Gazprom PJSC will jointly undertake a study to prepare a blueprint for laying a gas pipeline between Russia and India as the two countries step up cooperation in the energy sector.

Russia hopes to tap the vast Indian market to stabilise gas prices while New Delhi intends to enhance the use of natural gas in the country's its energy mix and increase trade with Russia.

The two countries are also actively involved in the implementation of a international North-South transport corridor which would fasten delivery of Russian supplies to South Asia and beyond to Middle East and West Asia.

''The companies will examine whether the pipeline between the countries could pass through either China or through the Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet republics),'' reports quoting a government official said.

India, which is planning to increase the share of natural gas in its hydrocarbon use from 7 per cent to 15 per cent over the next two or three years, also plans to increase sourcing of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia.

By partnership in the oil and gas sector and engagement in renewables India hopes to create an 'energy bridge' with Russia, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Gazprom, which owns the world's largest gas transmission system with a total length of 171,200km, is the main supplier of natural gas to Europe.

Meanwhile, Alexi Miller, CEO of Gazprom, said on Saturday that he hoped to renegotiate a deal to supply liquefied natural gas to India's Gail (India) Ltd within the next six months.

"We will make a decision in the near future, in the course of six months," Miller said.

The two companies are discussing a change to the period in which Gail has to increase its off-take to 2.5 million tonnes of LNG per a year, as agreed under a previous contract, Miller told reporters.

India's oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Russia's energy minister Alexander Novak on Saturday also signed agreements for cooperation in the energy sector for 2017-18 and for cooperation in the area of education and training between ONGC Videsh Ltd and Rosneft Oil Company PJSC.

Both the countries agreed to further work towards boosting bilateral engagement in the hydrocarbon sector.