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Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline talks collapse

11 January 2009 , 12:41Ksenia Kochneva734 reports that India and Pakistan face a looming energy crisis as demand far outpaces supply. Pakistan is in the midst of a major economic crisis, seeking assistance from the International Monetary Fund to prop up domestic markets.

Negotiations over the pipeline, envisioned in 1989, limped along for years as neither side has been able to make progress on gas custody, security and pricing.

The latest round of talks collapsed during a meeting between Iranian officials and Pakistan's top energy adviser, Asim Hussain, the Pakistan Observer said Wednesday.

Iran wants a series of conditions on gas deals, including clauses for Iranian control over distribution and a single, static price mechanism.

Pakistan, meanwhile, wants a price mechanism that is competitive with alternative fuel sources.

Islamabad recently offered to buy the New Delhi share in the pipeline, as the Indian government expressed reservations over several provisions of the IPI pipeline.

IPI would extend 1,724 miles from Iran's South Pars gas field. China expressed interest in the project as well.

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