Source: Arab News
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to appoint a senior official to resolve issues related to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, whose construction has remained stalled for years, the petroleum ministry said on Wednesday.
The pipeline will link the energy-rich Central Asian country of Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India, and is expected to carry 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas each year along a route stretching 1,800 km (1,125 miles) from Galkynysh, the world’s second-biggest gas field, to the Indian city of Fazilka near the Pakistan border.
The Afghan stretch of the pipeline will run from the northwestern border with Turkmenistan, south through the western city of Herat to Kandahar near the border with Pakistan.
“TAPI is a transformation agenda for the region, not just a pipeline,” state minister for petroleum Dr Musadik Malik was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Pakistani ministry of petroleum after Malik held a meeting with a delegation from Turkmenistan led by State Minister and Chairman of Turkmengas, Maksat Babayev.
“Meeting agreed to appoint a high-level official from Pakistan to resolve open issues. Technical working group on TAPI will hold extensive meeting today,” the statement added.
Work on the project has been stalled due to differences over price review and delivery points.
As per the original deal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India would have 15% share of gas, while Turkmenistan would get 85%. Under the existing gas sale-purchase agreement, the gas delivery point is the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan border, which Pakistan wants moved to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.