Saturday, April 30, 2011

AFGHANISTAN:TAPI pipeline project:

ISLAMABAD  (April 24, 2011) : Turkmenistan warning that it would sell gas to some other country if the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project is delayed any further has led to the scheduling of four day talks in New Delhi (April 25-28) to discuss transit fee and develop consensus on gas pricing formula to ink Gas Sales Purchase Agreement (GSPA).

Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) and Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement (GPFA) on TAPI have already been signed. During two-day technical level talks held in Islamabad on March 25-26, Turkmenistan warned it would divert gas allocated under TAPI gas pipeline project to some other country if the TAPI project is not functional by 2016.

TAPI and Security Concerns
After the TAPI agreement was signed in April 2008, the Afghan government reportedly told the steering committee that, within two years, the pipeline route would be cleared of landmines and Taliban influence. Whatever may have been anticipated then, the planned route remained insecure at the beginning of 2010. Companies are unlikely to make investments within a war zone. The prospect of building the pipeline under armed guard and then defending it for decades is formidable, in terms of both manpower and cost. How many NATO countries would be willing to make long-term commitments to support pipeline security in Afghanistan?