India may opt for seabed pipeline for Iranian gas

Tehran: India and Iran may consider a modified version of a long-standing plan to pump Iranian natural gas through an under-sea pipeline. Iranian officials are letting it be known that an Indian delegation will arrive in Tehran for talks for an Iranian link-up to a proposed India-Oman under-sea pipeline.

Persian GulfThe news comes even as Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh has finally accepted a long-standing Iranian invitation to visit that country. Officials said dates for the visit would be mutually worked out.

The information was provided by the caretaker of the National Iranian Gas Export Company, Hossein Bidarmaghz, to the official IRNA news agency.

"New Delhi has a plan to build an under-sea gas pipeline between Iran and India, in order not to pay any transition fee for delivery of gas," Bidarmaghz was quoted as saying.

If an under-sea gas pipeline is built by India to Oman, Iran can build a similar pipeline in deep waters to join that pipeline for exporting gas to New Delhi, Bidarmaghz added.

There are agreements between Iran and Oman on making the project operational in cooperation with a third country, Bidarmaghz quoted him as saying.

According to the report, based on a trilateral agreement between Iran, Oman and a third country, Tehran will provide natural gas to an Omani liquefied natural gas (LNG) factory in order to convert it into LNG and sell it to the customers.

The South Pars/North Dome field is a natural gas field located in the Persian Gulf. It is the world's largest gas field, shared between Iran and Qatar.