Construction of gas main via Pakistan Turkmen gas is now of good demand the in East. On October 16 the Oil and Gas Ministry of Turkmenistan announced that the international agreement on creation of a consortium for construction of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas main will be signed October 26-27 during a tripartite meeting of the heads of the state in Ashkhabad. The implementation of this project will start next year and will be finished by the year 2005.
The capacity of the pipeline is scheduled on the level of 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually, the cost of the project is USD 2 billion. As for today, the expected reserves of Turkmen gas stands at 2.3-2.6 trillion cubic meters, while about 1.7 trillion are expected from Dovletabad field, from where the pipe will start. According to the chief analytical officer of NIKoil Kaus Rapan the main cause of construction of the pipe is a "big policy". The US, which considers Pakistan as a strategic partner in the region, considers very important stable supply of gas to this state, that makes the Turkmen gas more preferable than Iranian. Profit from the pipeline will come in handy for Afghanistan, economic situation of which is as well one of US interests.
"One can just wish success to TransAfghan gas main - that will ease Gazprom's problems," Vlariy Nesterov, expert from Troyka-Dialogue group said. According to him, entry of the Turkmen gas to Europe could cause over-surplus of demand at the European market. According to Nesterov construction of the gas main is an absolute necessity for Turkmenistan for lack of market stagnates the gas extraction. At the same time he is skeptical over the plans of construction of the gas main in such short terms.
Along with a threat of terrorist acts on the territory of Afghanistan the project can be also threatened with lack of demand in Pakistan: a state which consumes 20 billion cubic meters of gas may not need additional 30 billion cubic meters. The Turkmen gas pipeline was initially planned to be laid via Pakistan and India, but according to Nesterov tensed relations between Pakistan and India will most likely urge India to import gas from Qatar and Oman, which gas field resources are estimated for today as very high. "Any way construction of the gas main for today is very risky project, and it would be better to somewhat stagnate its implementation," Nesterov concluded. Maybe the Russian companies are very careful in expressing their interest towards the project because of high risks. Thus, Rosneft, which took a risk of participation in rehabilitation of oil and gas complex of Afghanistan, does not think necessary to take part in construction of gas pipeline.
Itera Group of companies as well refrains from joining Turkmen-Afghan-Pakistani project. However, it plans to participate in negotiations with initiators of this project.
"Finansoviye Izvestiya" Daily