Iran, India likely to restart gas pipeline talks

India and Iran will start new negotiations over Indian investments in oil and gas projects in Iran as also revival of the stalled peace pipeline project for transporting gas from Iran's rich gas fields to India via Pakistan, Iranian newspapers reported today.

An Indian delegation is scheduled to visit Iran next week to discuss investments in Iran's giant South Pars Gas Field, the report said, adding that the two sides will discuss supply of certain expensive oil equipment like drilling platforms and towers from India.

The two sides are also expected to discuss New Delhi's return to the peace pipeline project, which is currently being undertaken as an Iran-Pakistan project.

Media reports quoting Indian diplomatic sources in the UN, meanwhile, said India has not abandoned the $7.3 billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

In fact, the report said, the country was looking for an insurer to cover the risk of transporting gas through treacherous Pakistani countryside.

It was the risk of supplies being hit by terrorist attack combined with the huge transition fee demanded by Pakistan that forced India to stay out of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline (Peace Pipeline) project.