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Study Work Begins in Turkmen’s Section of TAPI Pipeline

Validation of the location of the future gas pipeline within the country, maping the route

Friday 11 September 2015, by Nazar TAMASHEVSKA

ASHGABAT (Turkmenistan.ru) — Specialists of the Institute of Oil and Gas of the State Concern Turkmengaz have started the engineering and exploration work along the route of the future gas pipeline Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI). They will hold a series of technical and geological investigations on the 215-kilometer stretch in the southeast of the country — from Galkynysh (“Revival”) field to the border with Afghanistan.

PNG - 20.2 kb
Route of TAPI pipleline

Last August, the TAPI Steering Committee has unanimously endorsed Turkmengas as the consortium leader of TAPI Pipeline Company Limited to spearhead efforts to build, finance, own and operate the planned 1,600 km pipeline.

Geologists, surveyors, engineers-designers and other professionals of the Institute are expected to validate the location of the future gas pipeline within the country, map the route and collect relevant data for construction of the gas pipeline infrastructure. All survey related works are to be completed by early December this year, and construction of the linear part of the pipeline should start afterwards.

The original contractor of the TAPI gas pipeline — State firm Turkmenneftegazgurlushyk — has begun building a motor road on orders of the Directorate for development of gas fields and construction of pipelines of Turkmengaz. This road will run along the future route of the pipeline to ensure efficient use of modern equipment and machinery in the complex terrain of the route.

Specialists of Turkmenneftegazgurlushyk are also conducting analysis and sampling of equipment for installation and use on the linear part of the strategic pipeline and its supporting ground stations.

Last March, Indian and Pakistani press reported surrounding the meeting in Kabul of the steering committee TAPI pipeline a breakthrough has finally been achieved and construction on the mega-project could begin in 2015. The apparent impasse over Turkmenistan’s terms for financing the pipeline’s construction have been resolved owing to the Turkmen government’s new determination to diversify the markets for its natural gas.

On October 2014, Russian natural gas giant Gazprom announced it would cease purchasing natural gas from Turkmenistan. Following through on its announcement, Gazprom slashed its imports from Turkmenistan by almost two-thirds at the beginning of 2015. With the severe reduction of Russian imports of natural gas from Turkmenistan, China has become Turkmenistan’s sole export market. Fearing an economic dependence on Beijing, Ashgabat has been working assiduously and therefore has been motivated to make key concessions for the construction of the TAPI pipeline.

To vary its natural gas clients, Turkmenistan has recently turned to Turkey, Japan and South Korea to develop projects for LNG, Gas-to-Liquids, and the production of fertilizers from natural gas. Nonetheless, Turkmenistan’s urgent need for export push the country to speed up the TAPI pipeline project.

Once completed, the TAPI pipeline is expected to export up to 33 m³ of natural gas a year from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India over 3 decades. Turkmenistan has the world’s fourth largest proven gas reserves and the pipeline will allow it to diversify its gas export markets. Turkmengaz, the national gas company of Turkmenistan, has over 50 years of experience in the production, development and transportation of gas, as well as construction of gas pipelines. It is anticipated that other suitable companies will join the consortium leader group at a later stage.

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