India, Iran to renegotiate LNG prices

India and Iran on Friday showed fresh commitment to revive the LNG deal. The deal between the two nations was on the back burner after New Delhi rejected Tehran?s demand for $5.10 per million British thermal unit (mbtu) as against the agreed price of $2.90 per mbtu.

Petroleum minister Murli Deora said that India will have a look at the fresh proposals from the Iranian side regarding the LNG contract which was signed in June 2005 at Tehran.

"India and Iran are renegotiating the LNG pricing," said Mr Deora, after meeting with Iran?s foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki in his office here at Shastri Bhawan.

Mr Deora said that Iran had submitted a proposal on the pricing of LNG and India would get back to them and added that the next bilateral talks on the LNG deal between the two nations would be held very soon.

Mr Mottaki said that there is a will to export LNG to India. "India needs LNG to meet its rapid development programme and we need to sell it," said Mr Mottaki. "We discussed it and we had useful negotiations," he added.

On the Iran-India pipeline, Mr Mottaki said that both countries are waiting for the final report of the consultants and will continue their negotiations, both bilateral and trilateral, to reach a common ground to implement the project.

Mr Deora said the next secretary-level talks between the three nations (India, Iran and Pakistan) will be held within a month in Tehran to review fixation of gas prices. Talks are currently stalled over gas pricing, as the rates proposed by Tehran are much higher than what was envisaged.

The three nations have appointed United Kingdom-based consultants Gaffney, Cline and Associates to advise on the natural gas price to be supplied to India and Pakistan from Iran.

"You will receive both LNG and gas very soon," said Mr Mottaki.

Source: The Asian Age, New Delhi
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