TAPI pipeline to dispel doubts regarding Turkmen gas
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 10
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
The implementation of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project would represent an enormous breakthrough for Turkmenistan's capabilities as an international energy player, US energy analyst believes.
"TAPI would dispel many of the doubts cast upon Turkmenistan about its capability and will to do more than deliver gas to its borders," Micha'el Tanchum, Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center in Washington told Trend.
He noted that Turkmenistan has already shifted because the changing international landscape, particularly the prospect of a post-sanctions Iran.
Tanchum expects that there will be no more delays in the TAPI project implementation and the construction of the Turkmen section will begin in December, in line with Turkmenistan's plans, and this will be an important milestone.
He also noted that in spite of the security problems in the transit countries, which many experts see as a main obstacle for TAPI implementation, the pipeline can be adequately protected, given sufficient monetary expenditure on pipeline security as well as sufficient cooperation from the national governments along the route.
"Questions remains as to whether the necessary resources will be dedicated to this purpose," Tanchum said.
It is planned that the total length of the TAPI pipeline will be 1,735 kilometers. Some 200 kilometers will pass through the territory of Turkmenistan, 735 kilometers - Afghanistan, 800 kilometers - Pakistan up to Fazilka settlement on the border with India. The annual capacity of the gas pipeline will be 33 billion cubic meters.The gas pipeline is to stretch from the largest Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan.
The estimated cost of the project will be up to $10 billion.
Solemn groundbreaking ceremony of the TAPI pipeline is scheduled for December 13, 2015.
The basic document for the promotion of TAPI is the Ashgabat interstate agreement signed between the participating states in 2010 on starting the practical implementation of this project.
Turkmengaz State Concern, Afghan Gas Corporation, Pakistan's "Inter State Gas Systems (Private) Limited" and Indian "GAIL (India) Limited" established TAPI Ltd. consortium in November 2014. It will be engaged in construction and subsequent operation of the TAPI gas pipeline. Turkmenistan's Turkmengaz state concern was selected the consortium's leader.
TAPI project has been discussed for over 10 years already. However, the project's implementation was cancelled for several times due to the security problems in the transit countries.