Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, July 10 / Trend H. Hasanov /
The construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline in the near future will ensure the long-term supplies of Turkmen natural gas to South-East Asia, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said at a meeting with Pakistan's Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal Khan, Turkmen media reported on Wednesday.
"The construction of the gas pipeline, which will ensure the long-term supplies of Turkmen natural gas to South-East Asia in the near future is another action towards the implementation of Turkmenistan's energy strategy, focused on the creation of a multi-variant system of energy supplies to the world's biggest markets," Vatan newspaper quoted the Turkmen president.
Turkmen President also received India's Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Marpadi Veerappa Moily in Ashgabat. Representatives of Islamabad and New Delhi arrived in the Turkmen capital to participate in the next meeting of the Steering Committee on the TAPI gas pipeline project.
According to the Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary state news service, Kamal Khan expressed confidence that the greatest mutual interest of all four participating countries in the project at the beginning of its early implementation and further development of constructive cooperation in the gas sector would help establish a documented framework and coordinate all related financial, commercial and technical issues.
Moily stressed India's interest in Turkmen natural gas supplies. This is stipulated by the country's growing needs of the energy resources. He added that the implementation of the TAPI gas pipeline project will further enhance the effective Turkmen-Indian cooperation based on the principles of constructiveness.
The basic document for the promotion of TAPI project is the Ashgabat interstate agreement of the state parties on the commencement of the practical implementation of the TAPI project signed in late 2010. The instability in transit Afghanistan remains a serious obstacle, but Kabul said the country will ensure the safety of the route.In May 2012, the Turkmen government entered into an agreement for the sale of natural gas with India's GAIL Ltd. A memorandum of understanding was signed with Afghanistan.
Negotiations are currently underway on the formation of the consortium and the financial package. The Turkmen side conducted several international road shows for TAPI in September 2012 with the participation of the Asian Development Bank.
The design capacity of TAPI is 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. The estimated length is 1,735 kilometres. It is expected that the pipeline will extend from the largest gas field in Turkmenistan, Galkhynysh, through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar to the Fazilka settlement on the Pakistani-Indian border.