Oman is likely to play a major role as a potential transit hub in plans for a deep-water pipeline supplying natural gas from Iran to India, a report said.
India’s top trade lobby, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), is mooting expeditious implementation of the multibillion-dollar project, source reported.
Assocham’s report, titled ‘The Middle East to India Deep-water Gas Pipeline (MEIDP): A Favourable Situation for All’, highlighted important role for Oman in the implementation and future operation of the project.
The estimated 1,300-km pipeline is expected to start from Chabahar Port on Iran’s southern coast and terminate near Porbandar (Gujarat) on India’s west coast.
Oman can also capitalize on this link to channel any surplus volumes of its own into the network, the report noted. “It can also include Oman which is a gas rich country. Such a pipeline (MEIDP) will provide Oman and Iran to have a ready access to a growing gas consuming market,” it stated.
“By keeping the maximum depth of the MEIDP pipeline at 3450 metres, it will not affect movement of heavy cargo vessels in the busy Arabian sea. Like the Eastern Mediterranean pipeline, MEIDP can use 24-inch internal diameter pipes with wall thickness of 32.9 to 41.5 mm,” the report said.
Assocham also sees a potential role for Oman as an equity partner in the estimated $5.2 billion project, given its strategic location astride the pipeline. “Equity contribution can come from Iran, Oman and India. Apart from private investment, long term soft loans can be accessed from Indian banks, multilateral Agencies, export-import banks and also foreign currency borrowing,” the report said.