Asia Sentinel: India to Go Undersea for Gas Transit?
With India’s demand for gas expected to burgeon, the country is looking for new options overseas to plug the gaps – possibly through an undersea pipeline from Qatar that would get Delhi out of US gunsights over the import of Iranian gas.
Sources in India’s oil ministry have told Asia Sentinel that diplomatic efforts are now underway to implement the undersea project from Qatar via Oman and across the Arabian Sea to Maharashtra or Gujarat.
Plans have long been stalled for a US$7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline by the threat of United States and European Union sanctions as western governments seek to thwart suspected Iranian plans to acquire nuclear weapons. Driven by US and more recently EU demands, India has been seeking ways to cut down on energy imports from Iran and to build on relationships with Saudi Arabia as well as other parts of the Middle East and Africa. New Delhi’s other efforts to procure natural gas via pipelines from Iran, Myanmar or Turkmenistan are also stuck due to multiple reasons related to security, transit fees, competition from China and strategic factors. New Delhi has considered turning to Israel for gas supplies as well. MORE