India for fast completion of TAPI natural gas pipeline project
Sai Nikesh | The Dollar Business The Government of India pitched for fast completion of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline project, at a steering committee meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday. Speaking at the 20th steering committee meet of the project, Dharmendra Pradhan, Indian Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum, reiterated India’s commitment to source natural gas from Turkmenistan. The Minister stressed on expedition of the selection of mutually acceptable Consortium Leader in a time bound manner, which is very important step to complete the project. The Minister further said that the TAPI project would help India in achieving this goal of developing National Gas Grid, a gas infrastructure project that was intended to be built by the Government of India. According to the Pakistan official News agency, the Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had welcomed the move to expedite the completion of TAPI project saying that the project is very essential for the regional countries and the government of Pakistan will take necessary measures for the early completion of the project. Any delay in the project would add heavily to the cost, the Pakistan PM added, according to the other news sources. The Pakistan PM was also quoted to have said that TAPI project would help Pakistan to overcome the ongoing crisis with respect to the gas shortage. Earlier in a statement on February 6, 2015, Jam Kamal, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Government of Pakistan, was quoted to have told the sources that the countries involved in the TAPI project had already signed the deals regarding gas sales and purchase agreements. According to a report from the Natural Gas Asia website, the 1800-km-gas pipeline that was signed by TAPI on July 8, 2015, will export up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India over 30 years. Earlier reports say that four US companies had dropped out of the race for contract, following the dismissal of their demand for equity stake in the project, say the reports. The reports also say that Turkmenistan has agreed to sign a service contract with French company ‘Total’, allowing the company to act as a Leader of Consortium. According to Pakistan Daily Times News, sources from the energy sector say that the gas companies of the four countries involved in the project have already established a company to build, own and operate the pipeline with a deal of having equal share.
This article was published on February 11, 2015.