The Indian government is considering lending an offer of help with natural gas as a “test case” with the new government, an energy official said on Thursday.
A delegation from India said it would head to Lahore on Sunday with an offer of natural gas to help Sharif’s government cope with an energy crisis.
An official from Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) told Indian media that natural gas from an existing pipeline fed by Qatar could be extended to the border for Pakistan’s benefit.
“This is a test case before we enter into an agreement with Pakistan for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline,” a GAIL official said on condition of anonymity. “This is a small step to win its confidence.”
Turkmen officials in early 2012 agreed to sell natural gas to Asian customers through the 1,050-mile TAPI pipeline. US officials expressed their support for the project, seen as a rival to similar plans for a natural gas pipeline backed by the Iranian government.
Pakistan’s aging infrastructure and energy sector mismanagement means most of the country lacks a reliable source of electricity.
GAIL didn’t specify a time frame for the pipeline extension.