TurkmenGaz to own 51% stake in $10bn TAPI gas pipeline project

TurkmenGaz has agreed to acquire a majority stake of 51% in gas pipeline connecting Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI).

The project is expected to be built at a cost of $10bn and will have capacity to transport 3.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

Along with TurkmenGaz, Afghan Gas Enterprise, Pakistan's Inter State Gas Systems and Indian natural gas processing and distribution giant Gail would be consortium partners in the project, reports The Hindu Business Line.

TAPI pipeline has been scheduled to be commissioned in 2018, with the project having an operational life of 30 years, reports Press Trust of India.

Once operational, the TAPI pipeline is expected to export around 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas annually from Turkmenistan's Dauletabad and Galkynysh gas fields to the three countries.

According to estimates, Turkmenistan has the fourth-largest natural gas reserves globally.

State-owned Inter State Gas systems head Mobin Saulat was cited by Reuters as saying that TurkmenGaz is in talks with two other companies for acquiring further stakes in the consortium.

TurkmenGaz intends to lead the energy project, he added, and take up the construction and operation responsibility for the pipeline, which will extend for 1,735km.

Saulat said: "It is a huge breakthrough."

Other energy majors including Chevron, Exxon, BP and Total had also expressed interest to take part in the pipeline project.

The firms had, however, been unable to chip in over concerns about complex geopolitics and contract disagreements in the region. 

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