Turkmen-Afghan-Pakistani gas pipeline accord published

Jun 08, 2002 02:00 AM

The leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan signed an agreement in Islamabad on 30 May 2002 on a gas pipeline project to transport Turkmen natural gas to Pakistan through Afghanistan. The agreement says that such a pipeline is "vital" to the interests of the peoples of these countries.
It also says that work on a preliminary feasibility study of the project will be carried out and that it will be financed by international financial institutions. The parties to the agreement will choose an international consortium that has experience of carrying out such projects, and the pipeline will be built by, belong to and be used by that consortium.

The following is the text of the agreement as published on 31 May:
Agreement between the government of Turkmenistan, the government of Afghanistan and the government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan oil and gas pipeline projects
The government of Turkmenistan (referred to below as the Turkmen side), the government of Afghanistan (referred to below as the Afghan side) and the government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (referred to below as the Pakistani side), which are hereinafter referred to as the Parties, acknowledging their cultural ties and common interests; genuinely desiring to strengthen fraternal relations and cooperation between the Parties on oil and gas pipeline projects; considering that the Parties are interested:
-- in the construction and use of a gas pipeline by a corporate body (hereinafter referred to as the Consortium) for the transportation of natural gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via the territory of Afghanistan, and
-- in carrying out a preliminary feasibility study (PFS) of the construction of the gas pipeline by a corporate body (hereinafter referred to as the Consultant), have agreed on the following:

Article 1
The Parties support the construction of a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline, viewing it as vital to the interests of the peoples of the countries of the region, and will coordinate the joint activities necessary for carrying out the supply, transportation and use of Turkmen natural gas.

Article 2
At the initial stage, the PFS will determine the economic practicability of a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline project and form a basis for it (phase 1). Then, the possibility of extending the gas pipeline to the third country or countries will be considered (phase 2).
In that case Pakistan will act as a link ensuring the uninterrupted transportation of gas to the third countries and will receive payment for the transportation of gas under an agreement between the Turkmen and Pakistan sides. Pakistan will have the right to purchase gas for domestic use or to pump its [local] gas into the pipeline if there is spare capacity.
The Afghan side is to ensure to the uninterrupted delivery of Turkmen natural gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and receive payment for gas transportation under an agreement between the Turkmen andAfghan sides or under other agreements concluded between the Parties.

Article 3
The sides have agreed to set up a supervisory committee to be headed by the minister of mines and industries from the Afghan side, by the minister of petroleum and natural resources of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan from the Pakistani side, and the minister of oil and gas and mineral resources of Turkmenistan from the Turkmen side.
The committee will consist of three representatives from each side to supervise the drawing up of PFS and consultations with each other about the first and second phases of the project. During the making of PFS, the members of the supervisory committee will hold consultations and meetings on a regular basis. The supervisory committee is to present a progress report on the pipeline project at a meeting of the heads of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan in [the Turkmen capital] city of Ashgabat in October 2002.

Article 4
The supervisory committee is to study the possibility of building a road and a railway line and also a power transmission line and fibre optic communication between the three countries.

Article 5
The Parties have agreed to choose a Consultant for the drawing up of PFS through an international tender. The work will be financed by international financial institutions.

Article 6
The Parties will help and present to the Consultant all available data and technical information necessary for PFS; The Turkmen side will play a leading role and inform the Parties about all stages of the [feasibility] study and to hold consultations with the Pakistani and Afghan sides until the Consultant finally defines the main terms of PFS.

Article 7
As part of this study, the Consultant may also study the possibility of implementing the oil pipeline project from Turkmenistan to Gwadar (Pakistan) via the territory of Afghanistan.

Article 8
The PFS will be a basis for a feasibility study and ensuing intergovernmental agreements such as: - an agreement on the saleand purchase of gas; - an agreement with the transit countries; - an agreement on the gas pipeline; and other relevant accords.

Article 9
The Parties declare their support for and will make joint efforts to attract an international Consortium that has experience of carrying out such projects. The gas pipeline will be built by, belong to and be used by the international Consortium.

Article 10
The Parties have agreed that Afghanistan enjoys a right of access to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline to export its [local] natural gas as well as to take gas from this system for domestic use in Afghanistan. The amounts of gas to be exported and received by Afghanistan are to be agreed by the Parties in accordance with the results of PFS.

Article 11
The Parties guarantee the safety of the gas pipeline running through their territories. The Parties acknowledge the importance of the adoption of an international Convention and other relevant international legal documents under UN aegisto guarantee the security and development of pipeline systems.
The Afghan side is to make the necessary research on the basis of the results of PFS in those parts of the area on its territory where it is planned to carry out construction work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline -- to detect mines, unexploded rockets or other explosives, booby traps and other devices and to safely remove and (or) blow them up.
The Parties will take all the necessary measures to ensure the security of all foreign personnel who will be present in their territories to carry out work to implement the gas pipeline project.

Article 12
Any changes or addenda to this agreement on the gas pipeline will be made through separate tripartite protocols signed up by the Parties and these will be integral part of this agreement.

Article 13
Disagreements concerning the interpretation and use of this agreement are to be settled through talks and consultations between the Parties.
Article 14 This agreement comes into force after internal procedures are completed and it is approved by the Parties. This agreement is valid for three years and can be prolonged with the written consent of the Parties six months before the expiry of the agreement.

This agreement, done in Turkmen, Dari, English and Russian in the city of Islamabad on 30 May 2002 in three originals in each of these languages, with one for each side. In the event of any different interpretation, the text in English will prevail.
[Signed by] On behalf of the government of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, the president of Turkmenistan. On behalf of the government of Afghanistan, Hamed Karzai, the leader of the interim administration of Afghanistan. On behalf of the government of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, the president of Pakistan.

Source: Neytralnyy Turkmenistan
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