TAPI gas pricing, GSPA by 2011: Qamar

KARACHI: Petroleum Minister Syed Naveed Qamar has said that the matters relating to Turkmenistan Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline including gas pricing will be resolved by April 30, 2011 and the gas is scheduled to be supplied by 2015.He was addressing a press conference to give more details on $ 7.6 billion TAPI project at his residence here on Monday. Qamar who inked the GPFA in Ashgabat on Saturday, said the gas sales and purchase agreement (GSPA) which is under negotiation will be signed afterward, he added.He said that gas pipeline framework agreement (GPFA) has been signed by oil ministers of all the member countries while Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) by the head of states at recently concluded TAPI summit in Ashgabat on December 11, 2010.

Qamar said that the British company M/s Gaffney Cline Associate has submitted the gas reserve audit certificate to all the stakeholders, certifying the presence of 4 to 14 trillion cubic meters of gas in Yolotan/Osman and adjacent gas fields.He said the gas fields have been developed and the process to start production from these gas fields, located in the east of Turkmenistan will be initiated as the project proceeds forward.
The minister pointed out that 56 inch diameters 1,680 kilometers long pipeline will supply 3.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day, of which Afghanistan has a share of 500 mmcf per day, and Pakistan and India having a share of 1.325 mmcf per day each.He said that Asian Development Bank (ADB) has funded the studies for the project while the project will be financed through a private sector consortium which will complete and run the multi-billion dollars pipeline.

ADB has also assured to finance the project, he added.Qamar said that world leading financing companies from USA, Russia and China have shown keen interest in the pipeline and will form a “consortium” to fund and run the project.He pointed out that Afghanistan has given an assurance for the safety of the project and it will deploy 5,000 troops to watch and protect pipeline which passes through Hirat, Kandahar, Chaman and Fazilka to reach India.Responding to a question, he said that this is not an alternate of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, and infact, it will supplement to Pakistan’s future gas requirements which are rising by every passing day.“We are currently facing a shortage of 2 billion cubic feet during winter peak”, he noted.He said IP gas pipeline is in the advance stage as its pricing had been finalised, GSPA, IGA and GPFA are already been signed and currently physical survey of the area is being conducted.Replying to a question on the current status of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, the minister said that the first gas by the private sector will be injected in the pipeline by the end of 2011 – App