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Review of Tapi gas pipeline project

Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project is one in every of the long-term gas pipeline development project for Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. TAPI which is additionally called as peace project, is the foremost important gas pipeline projects by connecting Turkmenistan with Southern Asian countries so as to have interaction them by mutual cooperation. The TAPI gas pipeline from Caspian Sea, by having an 1814 km of its route line from Galkynysh gas-field, Turkmenistan runs through Afghanistan’s Herat, Kandahar, Farah and Helmand provinces to Quetta, Balochistan and Multan through Pakistan to Fazilka district in Punjab, India. TAPI gas pipeline project, which expected constructing cost is $10 billion is anticipated to supply 33BCMs yearly. The studies identified that Afghanistan would attain 5-5.1 BCMs or 16 percent and Pakistan and India will independently receive 13.8-16 BCMs or 42 percent of the total amount yearly. From total 1814 km lengthy route, 772 km would go inside Afghanistan and 828 km will be passed through Pakistan.

Studies also identified that TAPI gas pipeline project was progressing as per the timelines accepted among the member countries and there is no delay in the project. The planned flow of non-compressed gas from the TAPI gas pipeline project is December 2023. Pakistan was in process of renegotiating gas price with TAPI Project Company Limited (TPCL), following which a ceremony would be held for ‘Pakistan-Section’ of the multi-billion dollar trans-country gas pipeline in Chaman. Pakistan is keen to possess a brand new compatible gas price under TAP) project. Accordingly, renegotiation for the gas price will turn up with the TPCL before groundbreaking of the pipeline in Pakistan. It is also important to mention here Turkmenistan, which has the fourth largest natural gas reserves globally, is opening up to new countries in a quest for further gas exports. Since Russia first reduced and later halted altogether its gas imports from Turkmenistan, China has become the main destination for Turkmen exports, and these are probable to raise more when the fourth line of the Central Asia-China Pipeline becomes operational. Turkmenistan is also spearheading the TAPI pipeline project, a main step towards export diversification and also regional integration.

Sources recorded that Pakistan would complete Phase-I of the project within a period of 30-month after starting the ground work for laying the pipeline from Chaman to Multan via Quetta and Dera Ismail Khan. The project is comprised of two phases. In first phase, there would be free flow of gas in the pipeline which would be completed at an estimated cost of $5 to 6 billion, while in second phase compressor stations to be installed at a cost of $1.9 to 2 billion. Under the project, statistics showed that a 56-inch diameter 1,680 kilometers pipeline, having capacity to flow 3.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) gas, would be laid from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan up to Pak-India border. As per the TAPI contract, Pakistan and India will be offered 1.325 bcfd gas each and Afghanistan will be getting the share of 0.5 bcfd gas.

 

The member countries had inked an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) and Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement (GPFA) on December 11, 2010. Furthermore, Turkmenistan had already completed the construction work on its section, while Afghanistan also performed groundbreaking of the project during 2018. Pakistan was frequently contributing its committed share to carry out the project activities, which made significant progress during the present year, adding that the technical consultant of the project had been appointed and the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) completed for Pakistan-section of the project.

The Government of Pakistan’s statistics revealed that natural gas is indigenous supplies contribute about 38 percent in total primary energy supply mix of Pakistan. The country has an extensive gas network of over 12,971 km transmission 139,827 km distribution and 37,058 services gas pipelines to cater the requirement of more than 9.6 million consumers in Pakistan. Presently, the capacity of two Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FRSU) to Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) is 1200 million Cubic Feet per day (MMCFD) and accordingly RLNG is being imported to mitigate gas demand-supply shortfall. The average natural gas consumption was about 3,865 MMCFD including 785 MMCFD volume of RLNG during July 2018 to February 2019. During July 2018 to February 2019, the two gas utility companies (SNGPL & SSGCL) have laid 69 km gas transmission network, 3,232 km distribution and 1,366 km services lines and connected 165 villages/towns to gas network. During this period, 428,305 additional gas connections including 425,404 domestic, 2,770 commercial and 131 industrial were provided across the country. It was predicted that gas will be supplied to approximately 430,695 new consumers during the fiscal year 2019-20.

Gas utility companies have planned to invest Rs. 7,161 million on transmission projects, Rs. 48,288 million on distribution projects and Rs. 18,556 million on other projects bringing the total investment around Rs. 74 billion during the fiscal year 2019-20. The experts revealed that injecting additional gas in Pakistan’s leaking distribution system is similar to throwing good money after bad money. It is also revealed that gas crisis is witnessed more in winters then the summer. A rise in demand due to space heating and geyser loads which is not taken into account properly. Furthermore, the distribution network in towns and cities are profusely leaking, citing the yearly 10 percent growth in gas losses for unaccounted gas. Despite spending an enough amount on curbing gas theft, the challenge still remains. No doubt, the ongoing gas crisis in Pakistan has made life hard for Pakistani citizens.

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