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India Impedes TAPI Pipeline Inking Separate Price Deal With Turkmenistan

Monday 15 August 2011

(The Time of Pakistan) – India has struck a bilateral gas price deal with Turkmenistan under TAPI gas pipeline project in a move that hurts Pakistan’s endeavours for a uniform gas price. This has literally put the finalisation of Gas Sales Price Agreement (GSPA) in the doldrums, said a senior official at the ministry of petroleum and natural resources.

“Yes, we have come to know that Turkmenistan and India have finalised the separate gas price instead of going for uniform price for all three buyer countries. So we have also told Turkmenistan in plain worlds that Pakistan will match the lowest gas price between the seller and buyer country,” top officials privy to the development confirmed this to The News.

Earlier Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, the three buyer countries, had sought uniform price of gas while Turkmenistan wanted a bilateral arrangement (separate prices) for every country. “It seems Turkmenistan is not inclined in selling gas to Pakistan at the same price at which it is selling to India,” said the officials.

Pakistan and Turkmenistan were earlier scheduled to hold crucial talks on GSPA at Ashkhabad on August 15-16, but on account of the visit of Dr Asim Hussain, federal minister of petroleum and natural resources to Poland, the Ashkhabad talks would now be held after Eid. During the talks, Pakistan is likely to express it grave concern on the separate gas price deal with Indian. Pakistan is of the view that a separate tariff would have huge political repercussions for each buyer country.

Under the proposed project, the 1,640-km long TAPI gas pipeline financed by the Asian Development Bank will bring 3.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (bcfd) from Turkmenistan’s gas fields to Multan in Central Pakistan and end in the north-western Indian town of Fazilka. Out of this, Pakistan will get 1.365 billion cubic feet of gas per day, India 1.365 bfcd and Afghanistan 0.5 bfcgd.

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