Turkey's foreign minister Ali Babacan proposed to the Indian government that oil from Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and even Georgia be transported through Turkey's massive pipeline infrastructure to Ceyhan port.
Transported through the Mediterranean Sea in super tankers, the oil will then be fed into Israel's Ashkelon-Eilat pipeline, while super tankers pick it up from the Gulf of Aqaba port of Eilat and back again on super tankers to India.
"According to our calculations, this will give India a unique opportunity to access Central Asian oil, and will be quicker and, according to our energy experts, even cheaper," said Babacan in an interview with The Times of India.
"It will also bypass the crowded Suez Canal route, which only takes very small ships. Most important, for India's booming economy, it gives India an alternative source of oil," he added.
Currently, none of India's imported oil moves through the Suez Canal. Most of it comes from the Persian Gulf (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Dubai) and the rest that comes from Venezuela, Nigeria and Colombia, and is carried around southern Africa's Cape of Good Hope.
Yet, the Iran pipeline still seems the best, shortest and cheapest long-term source of gas supplies for India, considering the close distance between the two countries. Iran's Chahbahar port will also be soon accessible to India.
Fars News Agency, Iran, February 10, 2008