India Energy Minister Says New Delhi Committed To Iran Pipeline

India's new oil minister reiterated New Delhi's commitment to a multi-billion-dollar natural gas pipeline from Iran and said talks with Pakistan on the project would resume next week. "We are committed to making the project happen as we need the gas from Iran and we will continue to pursue the pipeline project," Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said.

Deora said the technical-level talks on the 2,600-kilometre (1,600-mile) pipeline from Iran's Pars field would be comprehensive. The project would help overcome the nation's chronic fuel shortage. India plans to initially draw 60 million cubic meters (78 million cubic yards) of gas from the pipeline and increase the quantity to 90 million cubic meters within two to three years. Pakistan has estimated its initial demand at 30 million cubic meters which would double by 2013.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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