Turkmenistan could benefit from India-proposed undersea gas pipeline from Iran

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BISHKEK (TCA) — India has proposed building a 1,300 km undersea pipeline that would supply natural gas from Iran, with the possibility for Turkmenistan to become a source for the planned pipeline via swap operations with Iran.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India has released the results of its study on “a trans-national deep water gas pipeline from Iran, passing through Oman but bypassing Pakistan,” it said, Iran’s PressTV reported.

The project could help feedstock India’s power, fertilizer and steel plants in an environment-friendly and affordable way and for sustainable supply of the fuel, the study said.

“An undersea pipeline between Iran-Oman-India will connect the producers and consumers of gas directly. This will bypass all geopolitical issues,” the study suggested.

Iran signed the undersea agreement in 2013 to supply gas to Oman in a deal valued at $60 billion over 25 years.

The planned pipeline would connect Iran’s vast gas reserves with Omani consumers as well as with liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in Oman that could re-export the gas.

India’s former oil secretary T.N.R. Rao, who released the study on September 5, said the Iranian pipeline in Oman can be extended to Porbandar in Gujarat, India.

Rao said natural gas imported through the line would cost $5-5.50 per million British thermal unit at the Indian coast compared with LNG imported through ships which costs about $7.50 per mmBtu.

“The cost of landed gas through an undersea pipeline will be at least $2 cheaper than importing LNG, saving about $1 billion annually,” the study said.

South Asia Gas Enterprise Pvt Ltd (SAGE), which is chaired by Rao on the company’s advisory board, has volunteered to lay the pipeline which would bypass the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Pakistan.

The pipeline, estimated to cost over $4 billion, is planned to carry 31.5 million standard cubic meters of gas per day and would be built in two years.

Rao said gas from other nations can also be sourced through the pipeline, citing Turkmenistan which has a pipeline supplying gas to Iran in the north. Iran, he said, can use the Turkmen gas for its own use and supply and equivalent volumes to India from its offshore fields.

Sergey Kwan

TCA