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India considers Gazprom proposal to construct gas pipeline across the Arabian Sea bed - 2 October, 2002

The Indian government is considering proposals of the Russian gas giant Gazprom on natural gas deliveries via Iran through a gas pipeline laid across the Arabian Sea bed.

According to a RIA Novosti correspondent, this was disclosed by the Indian newspaper Economic Times with a reference to the government sources. New Delhi is now facing the dilemma: to import Turkmen gas via Afghanistan and Pakistan or buy Russian gas to be pumped through the pipeline laid across the sea bed.

According to expert estimates, the construction of the gas pipeline from Turkmenistan will cost USD 2.1 billion, while the Russian project is estimated at USD 2.3 billion. In both cases the volume of deliveries will amount to 15 billion cubic metres of gas per year.

However, Economic Times notes that the Russian project is more preferable, although slightly more expensive. New Delhi is worried by the political instability in the region, which can hinder gas deliveries.

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