Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in his message to his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov said that the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) is "essential" and start of a new era of cooperation at the regional and interregional levels.
"Pakistan is considering the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline as a major project, which is the beginning of a new era of cooperation at the regional and interregional levels," the message, dated to the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the countries, says.
Zardari said Pakistan was among the first countries to recognize Turkmenistan's independence.
"Increasing dynamics of mutually beneficial partnerships is due to strategic location, rich hydrocarbon resources of Turkmenistan, opportunity provided by Pakistan to use the ports for access to various world markets," the Pakistani leader said.
Turkmenistan has signed an agreement on natural gas sale within TAPI pipeline in late May. Gas companies State Gas Systems of Pakistan and Indian GAIL ltd were buyers. The Afghan side, through whose territory it is planned to carry out transit of raw materials, was represented by sectoral ministry. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Kabul.
Daily supplies may reach up to 90 million cubic meters of natural gas. The next step for TAPI's four countries is the issue of attracting commercial partners for constructing, financing and managing the pipeline. The project cost is estimated at $7.6 billion as of 2008. Bangladesh expressed its interest in the project.
The basic document for promoting TAPI is the intergovernmental agreement signed by participating countries in Ashgabat in late 2010 to start implementing the project. The issue of security of this project passing through troubled Afghanistan is still on the agenda.
Besides the Dovletabat field, the largest field being developed in Turkmenistan which is Galkynysh, may be a resource base. Russia expresses great interest in this project. The U.S. administration also supports the implementation of this project.