India discussing natural gas swap with Russia, involving China
New Delhi: India is in talks with Russia to swap natural gas with China and Myanmar as an alternative to building a proposed pipeline to carry gas from Russian Siberia, a senior official said on Wednesday.
“Myanmar sells gas to China through an existing pipeline. If Russia can provide equivalent gas to China, then we can reverse the flow of gas from Myanmar to China and bring that gas to India,” state-run ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) Managing Director Narendra K. Verma told reporters on the sidelines of the Petrotech conference here.
The two countries had in October signed an initial pact for building a 4,500 km to 6,000 km long pipeline from Siberia to India.
Verma said talks are on with Russian state-run gas major Gazprom for an alternative swap by which Russia will supply gas to China and in return China will give its share of gas from Myanmar to India.
“For that we’ll need a pipeline from Myanmar to India,” Verma said.
Such a swap was the best way of getting Russia to help India with its gas needs, but it would need the cooperation of China and Myanmar, he added.
India, which is 81 per cent import dependent on oil, is looking to increase its gas consumption towards moving towards a gas-based economy.