India, Oman scrap $2 billion oil pipeline project
India and Oman have scrapped a $ two-billion underwater oil pipeline project, Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Ram Naik told the Press Trust of India Tuesday. "Both the sides have found that it is not viable to have a pipeline in the deep sea," Naik was quoted as saying. "Both the sides have decided to call off the project as the reserves are also not sufficient," he added.
The 1,200-kilometre (750-mile) pipeline was supposed to be a joint venture of the Oman Oil Corp. and the state-run Gas Authority of India Ltd to supply Omani oil to India. India and Oman had signed a joint venture agreement for the pipeline in 1993.
Two-way trade between India and Oman for the year to March was estimated at $200 million, but is forecast to increase to over one billion dollars in the next five years. The two countries are currently engaged in two high-profile joint ventures -- a $ 1.1-billion fertiliser plant in Oman and a $ 1.6-billion oil refinery in central India.
© Agence France Presse 2000