Historic agreements bring long-awaited TAPI Pipeline closer to reality
more than 20 years of delicate negotiations, a 1,800-km natural gas pipeline
that connects one of Central Asia’s largest energy suppliers with South Asia’s
critically underserved market has come one step closer to reality, marking an
unprecedented new chapter in regional relations.
GAIL (India) Ltd and Pakistan’s Inter State Gas System (Pvt) Ltd today signed
Gas Sales and Purchase Agreements with Turkmenistan that will lead to the
supply of up to 90 million cubic meters of natural gas a day via the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline. Afghanistan
also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on long-term gas cooperation with
“This is a truly historic moment of unparalleled regional cooperation,” said
Klaus Gerhaeusser, Director General of the Central and West Asia Department at
the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which has acted as the TAPI Secretariat since
ADB has played a leading role in coordinating and facilitating the TAPI
negotiation process over the past 10 years.
The bulk of exported gas will help meet surging energy demand in India and
Pakistan – where energy needs are set to double by 2030 – while the remainder
will alleviate chronic power shortages in Afghanistan.
“The pipeline represents a win-win scenario for each TAPI country, as it will
give Turkmenistan with the world’s fourth largest reserves more diverse markets
and helps fuel the energy-hungry economies to the South,” Gerhaeusser said, adding that each country stands to gain, making this not only the ‘Peace Pipeline,’ but a
pipeline to prosperity as well. With the TAPI pipeline in place, Turkmenistan’s gas will reach a greater range
of overland markets, diversifying from its existing markets in Russia, Iran,
and the People’s Republic of China.
A Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan is
expected to be finalized shortly. The next step is for the four TAPI nations to
attract commercial partners to build, finance, and operate the pipeline,
estimated in 2008 to cost at least $7.6 billion.