India, other members of TAPI gas pipeline project sign 2 major agreements

Representatives of Turkmenustan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India - the four partner countries of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, today signed two major documents for initialisation of the gas pipeline framework agreement (GPFA) and the heads of agreements for the proposed gas sales purchase agreement (GSPA).

The cabinet has already given in-principle approval to the GPFA. However, the final signing would be done only after the cabinet approves the document.

While the project is of great importance in fulfilling India's growing energy needs, Jitin Prasad, minister of state for petroleum and natural gas, however, stressed the need to keep transit fee the minimum in order to make the project successful.

He also said all stakeholders should address security issues suitably and there should be complete clarity on the institutional mechanisms for this. He said the pricing and other GSPA issues have be resolved to the full satisfaction of all partner countries before taking the project any further.

Baymyrat Hojamuhammedov, deputy prime minister and B Nedirov, minister of oil and gas, of Turkmenistan, Wahidullah Shahrani, minister of mining industry of Afghanistan, Naveed Qamar, minister of petroleum and natural resources of Pakistan, along with ADB, the lead partner of the project, attended the meeting.

The steering committee meeting followed two days of deliberations of the official-level technical working group meeting.