GAIL to take 10 percent stake in TAPI natural gas pipeline project

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Who: TAPI natural gas pipeline project
What: Will have GAIL investment up to 10 percent
When: Was in news on 4 October 2015

TAPI project: 1735 km long transnational natural gas pipeline project from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan to Pakistan and to India.

Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India or TAPI natural gas pipeline project was in news on 4 October 2015 as the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) is expected to take 10 percent stake in the project.

The objective of the project is to transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India.

Features of TAPI

• It will transport natural gas from Turkmenistan to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan.
• The 1,735-kilometer pipeline will run from the Dauletabad gas field in Turkmenistan to the Indian town of Fazilka, in the Punjab near the Pakistan-India border.
• It will carry 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Turkmen gas annually; While, Pakistan and India would each purchase 42 percent of that volume (13.8 bcm), Afghanistan would purchase 16 percent that would amount to 5.11 bcm.

• The four countries signed the TAPI gas pipeline deal in September 2010 and the implementation phase will begin in December 2015.
• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) carried out a feasibility study of the proposed project and extended its support to it. The EU and the USA also provide international support for the TAPI pipeline project.
• It will be developed with an estimated cost of 10 billion US dollars and will be operation by 2018.
• Turkmenistan will lead the consortium to build the project and the remaining members will invest according to the techno-commercial viability, shareholders agreement and investment agreement.

Comment

The project holds multi-faced benefits to all the four countries involved in the project. It will transport precious natural gas from energy rich Turkmenistan to energy deficient Pakistan and India.

It is also called as peace pipeline as it traverses through most terror prone areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

For India, the TAPI is expected to reduce dependence on gas supplies from the Gulf region and thereby enhancing its energy security.