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New Delhi has confirmed its readiness to join the construction of the Iran-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline
New Delhi has confirmed its readiness to join the construction of the Iran-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline, the Russian economics minister said Wednesday. "Both Pakistan and India have given their consent," German Gref said following talks with Indian counterparts in New Delhi. He said India regards Russian energy giant Gazprom as a possible partner in the project. In May 2006, Gazprom and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in creating oil and gas processing capacities, and in organizing deliveries of energy products to markets in southern Asia, primarily India, and other parts of the Asia-Pacific Rim. Gref said Tuesday that Gazprom and ONGC held talks on the joint development of deposits and the construction of infrastructure both in Russia and India, but that no documents have been signed yet. At a session of the Gazprom-ONGC Joint Working Group in India last Thursday, the sides considered joint work "to prospect for and develop oil and natural gas deposits in India, Russia and third countries," as well as liquefied natural gas cooperation, Gazprom said in a news release. An ONGC press release said Gazprom has invited the state-owned Indian company to participate in eight projects in Russia, including oil and gas projects in Eastern Siberia and the Far East. ONGC suggested Gazprom contribute to integrated petrochemicals, LNG and power projects in India. The sides also examined the possibility of joint work in Qatar, Myanmar (Burma), Libya, Vietnam, Cuba and the former Soviet Union. Gazprom and ONGC officials have decided to extend for another two years their 2005 Memorandum of Understanding. Gazprom expects that cooperation with ONGC will enable the Russian gas monopoly to further expand its international operations and consolidate its positions on the global energy market.
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