TAPI gasline: Pakistan signs GSPA with Turkmenistan
15 November, 2011
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan signed the Gas Sales Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with Turkmenistan under the $7.6 billion TAPI gas pipeline project, on Monday.
The GSPA document-signing ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minster Yousaf Raza Gillani and Turkmenistan's Preisdent Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedo, here at the Prime Minister's House. The deal will lead to the operationalisation of the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
Federal Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Dr Asim Hussain, apprised the Turkmen president about Pakistan's viewpoint on base price, transportation tariff, transit variability and risk sharing. The ministry claimed that the GSPA would be followed by the signing of 'Heads of Agreement' and transportation and transit accords, by the end of December. A senior energy manager ascertained that the imported natural gas from Turkmenistan and Iran would help the country meet around 70 percent of its shortfall.
The 1,680-km-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline backed 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 and end at the northwestern Indian town of Fazilka. An official of Petroleum Ministry, on condition of anonymity, said that under the GSPA Pakistan was likely to pay 70 percent of crude oil price in international market. Under the agreement Afghanistan's share would be 500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), Pakistan 1,325mmcfd, and India 1,325mmcfd.
The official maintained that construction of the pipeline is likely to commence soon and would be completed by 2013-14, which would help overcome growing energy crisis in the country. TAPI gas pipeline was to run alongside the Herat-Kandahar Highway in Afghanistan and pass through Chaman-Zhob-DG Khan-Multan in Pakistan.
The GSPA agreement is a follow-up to the "inter-governmental agreement" signed by President Asif Ali Zardari, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedo and Indian Petroleum Minister Murli Deora in the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, on December 11 last year. Turkmenistan has the fourth largest proven reserves in the world. According to International Energy Outlook 2010, published by the US energy Information Administration, the world's top reserves of gas are 6.609 trillion cubic feet.