Turkmenistan to sign gas pipeline deal with India, Pakistan

The Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan is slated to sign an agreement Wednesday, May 23, that would set in motion the long-delayed natural gas pipeline to India and Pakistan, according to Reuters.

Known as the TAPI pipeline, for the countries involved, including Afghanistan, the project was first introduced nearly two decades ago, but instability in the region put plans on hold and continues to prove a difficult obstacle to overcome.

However, with natural gas supplies falling short in India, prospects for a new gas pipeline in the region are stronger than they have been in recent years. Already the country's state-owned natural gas processor GAIL Ltd. has signed a purchase agreement with Turkmenistan to tap into the proposed 1.17 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that will pumped through the pipeline each year.

MarketWatch notes one of the biggest questions in developing the pipeline became how much to pay Afghanistan in transit fees, while officials have suggested that the greatest challenge facing construction will be security for that section of the pipeline. 

PennEnergy's Research area offers a detailed gas market outlook for Turkmenistan.

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