Important regional developments to affect TAPI's prospects - expert

Oil&Gas Materials 11 August 2017 16:05 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 11

By Kamila Aliyeva – Trend:

Many important developments have taken place in the region within the 22 years since the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline with the support of international companies was first approved by the four nations, Fereydoun Barkeshli, senior analyst at the International Institute for Energy Studies, told Trend.

These developments should be taken into account as they may have a direct impact on the project’s future prospects, according to the expert.

“Pipelines diplomacy works well only through long-term security and stable regional territories, while geopolitical risks in Afghanistan and Pakistan remain in place,” he said, noting that this could slow down the project's implementation.

Barkeshli underlined that, during the last two decades, LNG has become more eminent, less costly and time-consuming compared to pipeline construction.

“Since gas pricing is linked to crude oil prices, gas prices have kept fluctuating alongside crudes. At the same time, the countries which are set to receive Turkmen natural gas are highly price-conscious and will surely resist upward price changes,” he said.

TAPI will make it possible to deliver gas from Turkmenistan, which ranks fourth in the world for its gas reserves, to large and promising markets of South and Southeast Asia. The pipeline will run from Galkynysh – the largest gas field in Turkmenistan – through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar, and finally reach the Fazilka settlement located near the India-Pakistan border.

Annual capacity of the gas pipeline will reach 33 billion cubic meters. Total length of the TAPI pipeline will be 1,814 kilometers. The project's preliminary cost is estimated at $10 billion.