New Delhi: India will attend a trilateral meeting along with Turkey and Israel next month to join a pipeline project that may help it access crude supplies from Central Asia and the Caspian region.
“It is not a simple project ... in one month there will be a trilateral meeting between India, Israel and Turkey. This meeting is likely to be held in Turkey. The pre-feasibility study for the pipeline has been carried out by Turkey,” Hilmi Guler, Turkish energy minister, told Mint.
The first leg of the proposed pipeline will supply crude from the Caspian region to Ceyhan port on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. After the crude reaches the Ceyhan port, it will be transported through an undersea pipeline to Israel from where it would be connected to the Eilat port on the Red Sea. It is from here that India could take crude through tankers and avoid the choke points of Suez Canal.
Energy collaboration: A file photo of Turkish energy minister Hi lmi Guler. The trilateral meeting is likely to be held in Turkey, he said. Burhan Ozbilici / AP
R.S. Pandey, India’s petroleum and natural gas secretary, confirmed the country’s participation in the meeting. “It is always good to contribute to new opportunities.”
State-owned oil marketing and refining company Indian Oil Corp., or IOC, is already associated with the first leg of the pipeline project with a 12.5% equity stake in $2 billion Ceyhan Samsung pipeline, which will establish a link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The other partners in the pipeline include Eni SpA of Italy and Calik Enerji A.S. of Turkey. The 560km pipeline will ship Caspian crude to the proposed $10 billion, 15 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) integrated refinery at Ceyhan in Turkey.
IOC is also looking at two other projects in Turkey: the Ceyhan refinery project in partnership with KMG of Kazakhstan, State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (Socar), Eni SpA of Italy and Turkey’s Calik Enerji A.S.
However, analysts are sceptical about the project. “With the pipeline to pass through so many countries, I have my doubts. India has been unable to do anything on the pipelines,” said Prayesh Jain, an analyst at stock market research firm India Infoline Ltd.
The $7.4 billion Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project is expected to fall through, and the 1,680km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline is yet to see the light of day.