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Aiyar proposes Iran-India gas pipeline extension to China via Myanmar

From The Independent, Bangladesh
March 18, 2005
link to this article.

Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar has said that the Iran-India gas pipeline through Pakistan had enough safeguards against disruptions in supplies and proposed its extension to China via Myanmar.

"If the Iran-India pipeline is to be extended via upper Myanmar to south China, disruption in supplies to India would mean supplies to China would also be stopped and that could prove enough deterrent for Islamabad," he said at a meeting of the Forum of Financial Writers in New Delhi on March 14.

India could earn huge transit fee through this pipeline, according to a report published in the Hindustan Times.

Mr. Aiyar said the Iran-India pipeline has sufficient safeguards and any disruption could be repaired within two-three days. There will be storage sites set up to ensure that the disruption in supplies does not have any serious impact.

Answering queries regarding India’s dependence on Iran for gas and US concerns, he said: "We have to look after our interests. Our interests lie in securing energy security and that we plan to do by networking with oil and gas rich neighbouring states including Iran. While we are alive to US concerns, we hope they are also alive to our energy security concerns. The US concerns with respect to Iran have been widely made known. The US is also aware of our energy requirement."

Mr. Aiyar said the government would revert to oil PSUs fixing petrol and diesel prices within a price band when the global oil prices stabilise. "We will like to revert to the price band mechanism (fixing auto fuel prices in a narrow 10 percent band) when international prices stabilise," he added.

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