Off and on over the past ten years Iran has discussed building a transboundary pipeline via Pakistan to supply India with natural gas. Since then a subsea line has gained favor with the project's principal stakeholders.
Building the pipeline underwater would allow India to go around Pakistan, India's arch enemy. Similarly Iran's perceived Emirati enemies can also be avoided by constructing the pipeline beyond their territorial waters. Geopolitics at its best.
Estimated at 1300 km in length, the pipeline would supply gas at rates less than the price of LNG available on the spot market. In a study led by T.N.R. Rao, India's former oil secretary, it was noted that “the cost of landed gas through an undersea pipeline will be at least $2 cheaper than importing LNG, saving about $1 billion annually.”
It is envisioned that the pipeline would also service the Omani market before reaching India. Not only could consumers be directly supplied, but Oman's LNG plants could be supplied for processing and ultimately shipment to third parties around the world.
The pipeline, estimated to cost over $4 billion, is planned to carry 31.5 million standard cubic meters of gas per day and would be built in two years.