India ponders Arabian Sea pipeline
Pipeline would transport natural gas from Iran to India via Oman
India has proposed an Arabian Sea pipeline that could help the country solve its ever growing energy problems.
Following the recent deal between Iran and the West and with rising prospects of ultimate lifting of economic sanctions on Iran, India has made a call for a 1,300 km pipeline in the Arabian Sea that would transport natural gas from Iran to India via Oman.
"Lifting of Western sanctions now holds the promise of starting an undersea pipeline project that would bring Iranian gas to India via the Arabian Sea," said the Secretary-General of India’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry D S Rawat.
With the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) project stuck in the pipeline and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) network yet to take off, India needs an alternative to meet its growing energy needs.
The South Asia Gas Enterprise has proposed sea pipeline bypassing Pakistan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to transport up to 1.1 billion standard cubic feet per day of gas from Chabahar in Iran and Ras al Jifan in Oman to Porbandar in Gujarat, with a spur line to Mumbai to be built a later stage.
"Given the kind of serious political problems, the proposed pipeline projects like TAPI ( Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) and IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India), it is feared, may remain a pipe dream. All other viable alternatives to enhance India's energy security must be explored,” Rawat added.
The proposed project has an estimated cost of $4.5bn and, if realised, would help address India’s worsening energy shortages.
India is increasingly looking abroad for natural gas imports.