Indian firm eyes Iran's share in LNG venture

The Gas Authority of India Ltd. is negotiating with National Iran Oil Co. for the latter's interest in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) venture. Several other international oil and gas companies were talking to NOIC, plus Reliance Petroleum Ltd. of India, and may take part of NOIC's interest.


By an OGJ Online Correspondent


MUMBAI, Feb. 6�The Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) is negotiating with National Iran Oil Co. (NIOC) for the latter's interest in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) venture.

GAIL Chairman C.R. Prasad said, �We have received approval from the government to go ahead with this plan, and we have initiated talks with NIOC.

He said several international oil and gas companies were talking to NOIC, plus Reliance Petroleum Ltd. of India, and several may take part of NOIC's interest.

Under the project, Iranian LNG would be shipped to GAIL's import terminals at Trombay, near Mumbai in Maharashtra, and Dahej in Gujarat. A third terminal on the west coast also is being considered.

Prasad said, �We are also asking NIOC for a possible offshore pipeline from South Pars in Iran to one of the ports in Gujarat state.�

The 1,000-km pipeline is still in the survey stage, which could take 18 months to complete. India and Iran considered the offshore route after a land line through Pakistan was rejected for political.

GAIL also has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Unocal

for imports of gas from Bangladesh.

It will complete the 6 billion-rupee second and third phases of the Krishna-Godavari basin gas distribution network by June 2002. The first phase of the 135-km gas pipeline has been commissioned at a cost of 110 million rupees.

Other projects include a 5 billion-rupee liquefied petroleum gas pipeline from Visakhapatnam to Secunderabad, and a 6 billion-rupee pipeline connecting Mangalore, Bangalore, and Coimbatore.

More in LNG