A UN resolution last March has dashed India’s hope for a natural gas pipeline from the Middle East. Internal assessment is that a proposed deep-sea gas pipeline from Oman and Iran would run into a diplomatic roadblock following the UN approval.
The $4-billion deepwater pipeline was proposed by South Asia Gas Enterprise (SAGE) from the Middle East — bypassing Pakistan — after the onland Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline got stuck on New Delhi’s decision to backpedal on the project because of geopolitical and security reasons.
The sea route was outside Pakistan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to transport up to 1.1 billion standard cubic feet per day of gas from Chabahar in Iran and Ra’s al Jifan in Oman to Porbandar in Gujarat state with a spur line to Mumbai later.
“Route under finalisation for the proposed pipeline will have minimal political risk,” SAGE had claimed in a presentation to the Petroleum Ministry in May last year.