NEW DEHLI, December 17 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and India should consider a project for a direct ground route to deliver hydrocarbons from Russia that would open up bright prospects for both sides, a member of parliament, India's former minister for petroleum and natural gas (2004-2006) Mani Shankar Aiyar told Itar-Tass Tuesday.
A similar route for a gas pipeline was proposed when Aiyar was in office. The former government official added that India suffered a deficit of hydrocarbons, but closer ties with neighbours rich in the resources might help overcome energy problems. The idea of Asian oil and gas community with Russia’s participation should be promoted, the politician believes.
Various routes of ground transportation were possible, he added.
The idea was previously put forward by India's major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). As its Vice-President M. Nair told Itar-Tass, the oil pipeline may cross Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Earlier, in a joint statement following the Russian-Indian summit for further partnership for peace and stability last October, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to consider the project and establish a joint research group for this purpose.