By Manish Gupta
South Asia Gas Enterprise (SAGE), an international consortium of companies in deepwater pipeline projects, has sought the support of ministry of petroleum and others to develop an undersea gas pipeline from Gulf to India.
“We have carried out both technical and financial feasibility of the project, and have received positive response from various stakeholders. We now need the diplomatic and political support to take it forward as this requires long term government level agreement,” SAGE director Subodh Kumar Jain said.
The proposed 2,000-km-long energy corridor connecting Middle East and India, a $5 billion project, can lead to an annual saving of about `7,000 crore in comparison with similar quantity of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import.
The undersea transnational gas pipeline project Middle East-India Deepwater Pipeline (MEIDP) was initially conceived between Iran and India (Porbandar) about a decade ago but failed to take off due to western sanctions.
“There have been new large gas discoveries in Oman, UAE and Saudi Arabia recently and the Middle East plans to spend over $120 billion to increase gas output by 14 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) by 2030. This is the right time to strike long term deals at government to government level,” Jain said.
SAGE, promoted by Delhi-based Siddho Mal Group along with a UK-based deepwater technology company, gave a presentation to Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) in March this year to its gas master planning division.
The hydrocarbon projects developer has made similar presentations to other gas suppliers in the Middle East, and also made representations to ministries of petroleum, power, fertiliser, and also various industry chambers.
The route being looked at is via Oman and UAE through Arabian Sea to avoid geo-politically sensitive regions. It will allow options to import gas from Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkmenistan and Qatar, a region with 2,500 trillion cubic feet (tcf) gas reserves.
“Meeting needs of power and fertiliser industry for affordably priced gas, while moving to a low carbon economy, and increasing gas share to 15% in energy basket will create a demand of 700 mmscmd gas annually at right prices.
“Gas pipelines are more competitive than LNG up to a distance of 2,500-3,000 km due to high cost of gas liquefaction, transportation and regasification. It can save $5 to $6 per mmBtu. Besides, LNG prices can be volatile,” he added.
The proposed pipeline promises to deliver 31 mmscmd gas to India under a 20 year long term supply contract. And, the buyers can purchase gas from Middle East by paying SAGE a pipeline tariff of $2 to $2.25 per mmBtu range.