U.S. official: TAPI pipeline project could benefit Afghanistan

U.S. official: TAPI pipeline project could benefit Afghanistan

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Nov. 19 / Trend H.Hasanov /

The proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline is a good example of how Turkmenistan's resources could benefit other countries in the region - especially Afghanistan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of South and Central Asian Affairs at the U.S. State Department Susan Elliott said at the International Exhibition "Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan-2010".

"While many challenges remain, important steps are being taken, and we are encouraged by this progress.  It is important to remember that pipelines are long-term projects with long-term horizons, and that the immense effort involved will produce long-term benefits for Turkmenistan and the region," she said.

Elliott said this project, if realized, would provide revenue and jobs for Afghanistan at a critical time in its economic development. TAPI would also provide clean fuel to the growing economies of Pakistan and India. 

"TAPI's route may serve as a stabilizing corridor, linking neighbors together in economic growth and prosperity.  The road ahead is long for this project, but the benefits could be tremendous and are certainly worthy of the diligence demonstrated by these four countries so far," she added.

"The United States, Turkmenistan and the world community share a common interest in a stable and secure Afghanistan.  Initiatives like this contribute to Afghanistan's development," Elliott said.

Recently, Ashgabat agreed on a draft of the intergovernmental agreement to implement the TAPI gas pipeline project.

This document will be signed at the Ashgabat summit of the participant countries in December 2010.

According to Penspen previously prepared feasibility, the pipeline capacity can reach more than 30 billion cubic meters of gas a year, cost - $3.3 billion. It was reported that potential buyers - India and Pakistan are ready to buy much more gas. Therefore, the prices can be reconsidered.

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