TAPI gas pipeline very important for regional economy

Oil&Gas Materials 25 May 2012 09:38 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 23 / Trend V. Zhavoronkova/

The implementation of the Turkmenistan - Afghanistan - Pakistan - India (TAPI) gas pipeline project is a very important step for the regional economy, German expert on Central Asia Michael Laubsch believes.

On Wednesday, Turkmenistan signed an agreement for the sale and purchase of natural gas as part of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project.

"I think that this is more than a theoretic approach of new natural gas delivery

to Pakistan, Afghanistan and India," the head of the German non-governmental organization ETG (Eurasian Transition Group) Laubsch told Trend during a telephone conversation from Berlin.

The expert mentioned that the project implementation could be a very important step for the economies in the region.

"I think TAPI is a project that can be achieved if all sides work on it," he said.

Laubsch said there are still two major problems in the implementation of the pipeline.

"Of course, the first thing is the security issue especially in Afghanistan, because such a pipeline can only work if the security challenge is organized," he said.

The second thing is financing the project, the expert mentioned.

According to him, now we can say that about $10-12 billion will be required to build TAPI.

"I hope that the money, to be required for such a project, can be found, and it will be able to become reality soon or later," Laubsch mentioned.

The Indian market and its growing economy might be a sort of alternative gas imported for Turkmenistan, he said.

The practical implementation of the TAPI project signed in late 2010 is the base document to promote TAPI project.

The design capacity of the pipeline is up to 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The project is promoted by the Asian Development Bank.

The resource base in addition to the Dovletabad field is the largest field in Turkmenistan, namely the Southern Yoloten - Osman (Galkynysh). The length of the pipeline may reach 1,735 kilometres.

At present, the principle of forming an international consortium is being discussed.