Work is going on at Afghan gas pipeline

Oct 04, 2005 02:00 AM

A long-delayed project for a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan is still "a very real project... and very feasible," Afghan President Hamid Karzai said.
The 1,400-km line, costed at $ 3.3 bn, is designed to link the vast gas reserves of Turkmenistan with markets in Pakistan and India.

But the only way to open the South Asian market to Turkmenistan's reserves, the world's third largest, is across Afghanistan. Decades of instability there have kept the project on the drawing board.
Afghanistan, which held parliamentary elections in September, has finished a three-year programme for transition to democracy and is making progress in providing stability, Karzai said during a visit to Paris.

Karzai said strong economic growth in India and Pakistan kept energy demand there high.
"The pipeline is a very real project," he told a conference at the French Institute of International relations. "Work is going on on it. Certain facts have to emerge on the quantity of gas that will be available and the years in which it will be available," he said.

Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan signed an agreement in December 2002 to build a pipeline that would run from the Dauletabad gas field in southern Turkmenistan to Herat in western Afghanistan and then Kandahar in the south.
From there it would run to Multan in Pakistan, with one potential future spur leading to the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar, where a gas liquefaction plant could be built, and another crossing the Indian border and continuing to New Delhi.

Future gas demand in South Asia is projected to be strong enough to need imports via pipelines from both Iran and Turkmenistan and possibly a third pipeline, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in September. The ADB said reserves information from Turkmenistan showed a lower-than-expected gas deliverability there. Dauletabad had gross reserves of 1.4 tcm of gas, out of proven country reserves of about 2.0 tcm.
That would be enough to provide gasfor the trans-Afghan pipeline for a few years but after that gas from other fields would be needed to meet the pipeline project's targets, it said.

Source: Ariana Media
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