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Monday, September 20, 2010

2,000-km-long deepwater transnational gas pipeline from Oman to India

DUABI: India is actively considering building a 2,000-km-long deepwater transnational gas pipeline from Oman for transporting natural
gas sourced from Turkmenistan, Iran and Qatar, a leading industry official has said.

The proposed sub-sea pipeline will meet the additional gas requirement of the UAE, Oman and India, besides easing gas transportation issues of producing countries like Turkmenistan, Iran and Qatar, Subodh Kumar Jain, Director of South Asia Gas Enterprise (SAGE), told Times of Oman.

SAGE, a joint venture between the Siddhomal group, UK-based Deep Water Technology and an Indian firm, is a special project vehicle for building the 2000-km long-sub-sea pipeline.

"We are trying to create an energy corridor. It is a grand scheme of several pipelines. It will connect energy producing countries like Iran, Turkmenistan, Qatar, and will pass through the UAE and Oman, all the way to India," Jain told the newspaper.

As per the plan, the pipeline will originate from Oman and will end either in Gujarat or Maharashtra.

For the gas to be routed to Oman from Qatar, Iran and Turkmenistan, additional pipelines will be needed. Gas sourced through this will carry an additional transportation tariff, which will accrue to SAGE.

India imports around 26mscmd of LNG. The country is short on natural gas. It needs around 180mscmd, while the supply is 106mscmd.

Jain said the main sub-sea pipeline between Oman and India will cost between $3 to 4 billion.
"We are now discussing with Iran, Turkmenistan and Qatar for sourcing gas for the proposed pipeline. That is the biggest challenge. Besides, there are a lot of geopolitical and security issues involved," Jain said.

After ensuring gas, it will take five years to completed the project. The pipeline will be designed and built by an international consortium.

Demand for gas in India will continue to exceed supply from domestic sources and imported gas will play an important role in bridging the demand-supply gap in the Indian market.
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