Talks between India and Pakistan to export natural gas from the former to the latter through a pipeline are underway.
State gas utility GAIL’s Chairman and Managing Director B Tripathi proposed to lay a 110 km pipeline from Jalandhar to the Wagah border via Amritsar to supply natural gas to Pakistan.
Gas in its liquid form (liquefied natural gas or LNG) will be imported via ports in Gujarat and will be moved through GAIL’s existing pipeline network till Jalandhar. The proposed line will ensure the transfer of gas from Jalandhar to Wagah.
“Pakistan has demonstrated interest in taking LNG from us to meet its energy demand and the export is techno-commercially feasible. We can carry the process forward if the government of India approves it and if we can reach a commercial agreement,” Tripathi said.
Pakistan initially wanted to import 1-1.5 million tonnes of LNG, however, pricing and other commercial negotiations are currently ongoing, he added.
LNG imports to India currently range between $13 and 14 per million British thermal units after including customs or import duty, pipeline transportation charges and local taxes, thus the price upon delivery will be close to $21.
Although Pakistan currently does not have an LNG import facility, it is willing to buy LNG from GAIL provided that India exempts it from taxes to bring down the cost.