Israel exploring natural gas sale to India

Israel on Tuesday engaged India on energy security reiterating Tel Aviv’s intent to share its natural gas.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:February 22, 2012 2:01 am

Israel on Tuesday engaged India on energy security reiterating Tel Aviv’s intent to share its natural gas but did not spell out any offer saying it still had to work out the policies.

Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure Uzi Landau,who also heads Energy & Water Resources,held an hour-long meeting with Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister S Jaipal Reddy citing the recent large finds in the Mediterranean Sea.

Landau indicated that Israel was keen on gas exports to India in the form of LNG as well as offering participation to Indian firms but said that his country was yet to finalise the relevant policies.

Landau’s visit comes two two months after Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz first proposed gas exports to India. Interestingly,Israel’s recent gas finds in the Mediterranean Sea was the only issue flagged for today’s meeting for which ONGC Videsh Ltd was instructed to be prepared to commit its participation.

However,said Indian officials,the meeting lacked clarity on offer and seemed an “engagement exercise” to soften India’s support to Iran through continued crude oil purchase. “Israel made no mention of Iran during the entire meeting,” sources clarified.

India,which buys most of its gas from Qatar and Oman,has been seeking alternative sources after Iran trashed an LNG deal following New Delhi’s vote against its nuclear programme in the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The peace pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan has also got buried on price and security concerns but New Delhi is going against the international tide of banning Iran and its crude oil exports.

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