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Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:14

TAPI: a pipeline initiative that moves on

TAPI: a pipeline initiative that moves on Credits: http://tribune.com.pk/

This past summer, a step forward was taken for the realization of the Trans-Afghan natural gas pipeline project, also known as TAPI. TAPI is an ambitious $7.5 billion project, that aims in trasferring natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. Even though it has to overcome many obstacles due to the unstable political and economic conditions in the involved countries, TAPI can have major geopolitical effects in the area.

Based on the New Silk Road initiative, announced by Hillary Clinton back in 2011, TAPI is expected to connect the developing economies in Central Asia with Afghanistan and Pakistan, where investments and trade opportunities are more than needed. The construction of such a project could help settle the political differences between Pakistan and India, set the background for establishing peace in Afghanistan, maintain a financial pressure in Iran amid nuclear negotiations, as well as reduce energy dependence from Russia. 

The agreement between the four involved countries was signed on July 8, in Ashgabat, and is a major step towards the construction of the 1,078 mile natural gas pipeline. In this context, India and Pakistan will receive 42% of the gas each, and Afghanistan 16%. It is estimated that a construction period of four to five years will be necessary, especially considering the long delays recorded so far. Some even expect a much longer completion time, with direct effects on the total cost of the project, which is estimated to climb up to $10 billion. 

Despite the obstacles that may appear along the way, the TAPI project seems to be moving forward, especially under the threat of the Trans-Caspian pipeline, much wanted by Europe and the growing Chinese interest in buying gas from Turkmenistan. 

Sources: theepochtimes, TheExpressTribune

Read 1459 times Last modified on Thursday, 04 September 2014 12:39

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