India and Russia have consented to explore building the world’s most costliest gas pipeline costing near USD 25 billion to ship natural gas from Siberia to the world’s third greatest venergy consuming nation.

The pipeline is to connect Russian gas grid to India through a 4,500 km to 6,000 km pipeline, officials said.

The most short route will involve bringing the pipeline through Himalayas into Northern India, a route which represents a few technical difficulties.

On the other hand, the pipeline can come by means of Central Asian countries, Iran and Pakistan into Western India. In any case, the route will be costly when contrasted to the long discussed but shorter and cheaper IranPakistanIndia pipeline. Tehran may propose India take its gas through IPI instead of building such a costly pipeline, they said.

The third and the longest option is to lay a pipeline through China and Myanmar into North East India bypassing Bangladesh.

India and Russia to build World's costliest Gas pipeline
Representational Image

As indicated by preparatory cost assess arranged by state-owned Engineers India Ltd, which yesterday consented to an arrangement with Russian gas restraining infrastructure Gazprom for studying the RussiaIndia pipeline, the longest route of 6,000 km may cost near USD 25 billion.

The cost of transporting gas may be USD 12 per million British thermal unit, according to EIL.

The MoU marked in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the IndiaRussia Annual Summit on sidelines of the 8th BRICS Summit here, also envisages roping in in ONGC Videsh Ltd, gas utility GAIL India Ltd and Petronet LNG Ltd for the study.

Sources said natural gas produced in East Siberian fields is to be pumped into Russian gas grid which would be connected to India through the cross-country pipeline network.

While the cost of transporting gas via the long discussed IPI pipeline is less than USD 1 per mmBtu, the same for the TurkeministanAfghanistanPakistanIndia (TAPI) pipeline is around USD 2 for each mmBtu.

As indicated by industry specialists, a sensible transportation cost would be USD 4 for every mmBtu for the RussiaIndia gas pipeline. This excludes the transit fee to be paid to countries through which the pipeline will pass.

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