ADB: Turkmen gas becomes close to South Asian market
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, May 24 / Trend H. Hasanov /
After more than 20 years of delicate negotiations, a 1,800-kilometer natural gas pipeline that connects one of Central Asia's largest energy suppliers with South Asia's critically underserved market has come one step closer to reality, marking an unprecedented new chapter in regional relations, ADB said.
GAIL (India) Ltd. and Pakistan's Inter State Gas System (Private) Ltd. today signed Gas Sales and Purchase Agreements with Turkmenistan that will lead to the supply of up to 90 million cubic meters of natural gas a day via the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) natural gas pipeline. Afghanistan also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on long-term gas cooperation with Turkmenistan.
"This is a truly historic moment of unparalleled regional cooperation," Klaus Gerhaeusser, Director General of the Central and West Asia Department at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which has acted as the TAPI Secretariat since 2002, said.
ADB has played a leading role in coordinating and facilitating the TAPI negotiation process over the past 10 years.
A Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan is expected to be finalized shortly. The next step is for the four TAPI nations to attract commercial partners to build, finance, and operate the pipeline, estimated in 2008 to cost at least $7.6 billion.
The Ashgabat interstate agreement of member stated that the practical implementation of the TAPI project signed in late 2010 is the base document to promote TAPI project. The key issue on the agenda remains security of the project, passing through troubled Afghanistan.
The resource base in addition to the Dovletabad field is the largest field in Turkmenistan, namely the Southern Yoloten - Osman (Galkynysh). Russia began to show interest in this project at a high level. Its implementation is supported by the U.S.