Turkmenistan’s leader has reportedly ordered commencement of work on construction of gas pipeline to Pakistan. The pipeline will make stops in Russia, Afghanistan, Indian and Pakistan, at a cost of $10 billion. Since much of the proposed and under-construction energy projects in Pakistan are based on LNG, this gas pipeline to Pakistan will help the country balance the load. Earlier, Pakistan signed a deal with Russia whereby Moscow agreed for a construction of gas pipeline to Pakistan at a cost of $2 billion. Several energy projects under China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) will also be based on gas hence, the gas pipeline to Pakistan comes at a crisp time.
Turkmenistan’s gas pipeline to Pakistan will stretch a total of 1,800 kilometers. Experts estimate that the cost is likely to exceed the proposed $10 billion. Reportedly, the gas pipeline to Pakistan, which should be able to carry 33 billion cubic meters of gas annually, should be completed by the end of 2018. The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project is expected to reduce energy loads on both Pakistan and India. Currently, China is the major buyer of gas from Turkmenistan. With low energy costs on Turkmenistan’s side, the country is set to benefit greatly from energy-thirsty countries such as India and Pakistan.
TAPI project is not without its issues. At this point, Afghanistan stands war-torn with threat from terrorists not ceasing for the foreseeable future. Passing a gas pipeline worth over $10 billion through the country is a huge risk. Moreover, the four countries involved are yet to find an international commercial partner that would potentially help finance the entire project. Furthermore, the project is politically complex. In that, governments will need enhanced cooperation between each other, and Pakistan is not doing well with India or even Afghanistan. Of course, the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan are looking to improve since both countries are willing to resolve differences however, India and Pakistan are an entirely separate issue. On the other hand, since the gas pipeline will need to cross Pakistan to reach India, it may actually help the two governments finally pursue productive talks and address prevailing issues. Pakistan suffers from a huge energy crisis. With three separate gas pipelines from Russia, Turkmenistan and Iran potentially underway, and with all the energy projects Pakistan is pursuing, the country should soon have surplus energy, enough to resell to neighboring countries if the need arises.You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for more updates. Otherwise fill in the subscription box above, or subscribe to our RSS Feed.