India and Russia on Saturday assigned their respective domestic companies—Engineers India Ltd and Gazprom PJSC—to jointly study and prepare a blueprint for laying a gas pipeline between the two countries, said an oil ministry statement in New Delhi.
The move is part of India’s plan to enhance the use of natural gas in its energy mix and to increase trade with Russia, for which an international North-South transport corridor is also under implementation.
“The companies will examine whether the pipeline between the countries could pass through either China or through the Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet republics),” said a government official, who asked not to be named. Gazprom owns the world’s largest gas transmission system with a total length of 171,200km.
The statement said the governments also signed two other deals in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Goa, where the 17th India-Russia Annual Summit took place on Saturday.
Cooperation between the countries in the area of civil nuclear cooperation, sourcing of liquefied natural gas (LNG), partnership in the oil and gas sector and engagement in renewables can construct a promising ‘energy bridge’ between our two countries, the statement said, quoting Prime Minister Modi.