Cabinet approves TAPI gas pipeline

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the proposal of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas to permit GA1L( India) Limited to sign the Gas Sale & Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with TurrnenGas, Turkmenistan's national oil company, for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project.

The estimated cost of the pipeline is US $ 7.6 billion and it would carry 90 MMSCMD gas.

The TAPI Gas Pipeline is envisaged to be 1680 Km in length (144 Km in Turkmenistan, 735 Kin in Afghanistan & 800 Km in Pakistan) with a capacity of 90 MMSCMD of gas, with 38 MMSCMD each for India and Pakistan and the remaining 14 MMSCMD for Afghanistan.

The pipeline from Turkeministan's South Yolotan field, now renamed as Galkynysh, will run to Herat and Kandahar province of Afghanistan, before entering Pakistan. In Pakistan, it will reach Multan via Quetta before ending at Fazilka (Punjab) in India.

The Pipeline is expected to be operational in 2018 and supply gas over a 30 years period.

ADB is playing the role of lead facilitator for the Project.

 The United States supports TAPI pipeline project as an alternative to Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline as the project would isolate Iran.

The Project will help to promote energy security of the participating countries and strength regional cooperation.

The provisions of the GSPA have been prepared to protect India's commercial interests as India is at the tail end of the pipeline. Afghanistan and Pakistan have committed to the safety and security of the pipeline through the Inter-Governmental Agreement and the Gas Purchase Framework Agreement signed among the four countries in December, 2010.

India was formally admitted as a member of the TAPI Project in April 2008 at a meeting held on 23 - 24 April, 2008 at Islamabad. Shri Murli Deora, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas represented India in the meeting. It’s worth noting that the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) project was initially conceived in the year 2002.

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