Pakistan connects TAPI work start with gas cost review

ISLAMABAD: In a major improvement, Pakistan asked Turkmenistan to review the gas cost deal under $8 billion TAPI gas before the ground breaking of the pipeline to be laid down in Pakistan’s territory, one of the top men in the Petroleum Division said to The News. A high-power delegation of Turkmen gas organization is to check out Pakistan by end of the present month and would begin talks with the Pakistani side.

“Yes , we have written a notice to Turkmenistan authorities five months back seeking the conversation for review of the gas cost downward before embarking upon the construction of the portion of the pipeline in Pakistan’s territory and in recent interaction with authorities in Turkmenistan during the board held in Ashgabat wherein top officers from Pakistan, India and Afghanistan participated and to this effect Special Assistant to PM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar asked the authorities of Turkmenistan to 1st review the fuel costs downward before initiating the task,” a senior relevant official verified to The News.

The 3 buyer nations — Afghanistan, Pakistan and India — had inked the gas sale-purchase contract with Turkmenistan on a bilateral basis. Now all the buyer nations want to unfold their costs and want the renegotiations. However, Turkmen gas organization is going to send its group to Pakistan by the end of June. Another senior official said that on June 17, a delegation is due from Turkmenistan to sign Host Govt Contract and after that Turkmen Gas Organization will send its experts group to review the gas cost.

To a query, he declared that the economic colure of the task is to be finished by September this season and groundbreaking would be kept in October 2019 for laying down the 800 kilometer part of TAPI line in Pakistan territory. The task will be functional by 2020. The pipeline from Afghanistan that will enter from Chaman and pass through Zhob, DI Khan, Quetta, Multan and touch the Fazilka — a city at Indian border which is 150 kilometers away from Multan. From Fazilka, the pipeline will insert India.

TAPI gas pipeline task aims to bring natural gas from the Gylkynish and adjacent gas fields in Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The ADB is acting as the facilitator and coordinator for the task. It is proposed to lay a 56-inch diameter 1, 680KM pipeline with style capability of 3 .2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per annum ( Bcfd ) from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan up to Pak-India edge. There are 2 phases of this task, the 1st phase is free to flow phase with an estimated cost of $5 to 6 billion while the 2nd phase is the installation of compressor stations with the price of $1 .9 to 2 billion. Civil works of the task have already commenced in Afghanistan after the project’s groundbreaking ( Afghan section ) was held a year ago.

Afghanistan will be having the gas under TAPI 500 mmcfd, Pakistan 1 .325 bcfd and India 1 .325 bcfd too. Turkmen gas organization being the Consortium leader for the TAPI Task is to contribute up to 85 % of equity, and the rest of TAPI members namely Afghanistan, Pakistan and India would take 5 % any equity share in the Project Organization.

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