TAPI Project Still Facing Plenty Of Obstacles

October 2013, Vol. 240 No. 10

Despite many positive developments in recent years, the future of the ambitious TAPI gas pipeline project remains in doubt. All four partner countries are making serious preparations for the project.

However, the uncertainty surrounding post-2014 Afghanistan has dampened the motivation among major energy companies to act as lead consortium partners of the project. Multilateral agencies like the Asian Development Bank may be needed to salvage the project. Likewise, Washington may need to put its full diplomatic and financial weight in motion.

In the last 15 years, there has been much discussion on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. Earlier, analysts highlighted many uncertainties concerning the project. These included gas reserves in Turkmenistan; the security situation in Afghanistan; and strained relations between India and Pakistan. Despite all these challenges, all parties seriously considered the proposal.

The proposed 1,700-km pipeline will run from the South Yolotan Osman fields in Turkmenistan to Afghanistan; from there it will be constructed alongside the highway running from Herat to Kandahar, and then via Quetta and Multan in Pakistan. The final destination will be to Fazilka in Indian Punjab.

The project can transport up to 30 Bcm/a from Turkmenistan to South Asian countries. The agreement signed by the involved countries envisage the delivery of 90 (mmcm/d) of gas from Turkmenistan to participating countries with 38 mmcm/d each going to Pakistan and India and 14 mmcm/d for Afghanistan.