Can the South Asian Gas Pipeline Dilemma be Resolved through a Legal Regime?

Shebonti Ray Dadwal is Consultant at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • September 2011

    South Asian countries, and particularly India, are hydrocarbon-deficient, and given the pace of economic growth in many of these nations, all of them need huge energy resources to sustain their growth. In accordance with their diversification strategies as well as to enhance energy security they are considering alternate sources and means of imports, including via land pipelines. But though a number of pipeline projects have been initiated between the South Asian states and their western and eastern energy-rich neigbours, not a single project – mainly for natural gas – has been successfully implemented. Why are these projects riddled with problems and what are the reasons for the non-implementation of these projects? While examining the rationale for constructing transnational pipelines in the South Asian region, measures, including the role of legal regimes, will be examined to see whether they can assist in overcoming some of issues that are hindering the successful implementation of these transnational projects.