The international conference, titled “Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan-2023,” took place from October 25th to 27th in Ashgabat. This conference had a primary objective: to address the global challenges of energy security, energy justice, and energy sustainability harmoniously. It emphasized the potential of the TAPI gas pipeline project to make a significant contribution to the region’s energy security while simultaneously upholding environmental sustainability.
The TAPI project is an intergovernmental initiative that is being executed per a framework agreement involving the governments of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. This project has been in development since 2015 and has received support from the Asian Development Bank.
The length of the gas pipeline will be 1,853 km with a diameter of 56 inches. The pipeline will traverse from the Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan, which ranks as the world’s second-largest gas field. It will pass through five provinces within Afghanistan’s territory, proceed into Pakistan, and finally reach the Indian border. It is said to deliver up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas to which Turkmenistan is the supplier. The route has been carefully designed to avoid densely populated territory and special emphasis has been given to the environmental preservation and cultural heritage of TAPI countries.
Muhammetmyrat Amanov, the Chief Executive Officer of TAPI Pipeline Company Ltd, emphasized the significance of ensuring reliable supplies of natural gas at competitive prices for the TAPI countries. He noted that this would play a pivotal role in promoting peace and sustainability through economic growth, addressing energy poverty, and reducing air pollution by transitioning to clean natural gas during his speech at the international conference.
The TAPI project can help reduce energy poverty and enhance energy security in the region by providing a reliable and affordable energy source that can boost economic growth, social development and environmental protection. The project is another opportunity to enhance comprehensive strategic relations with the nation and maintain stability in the region.
It is also an opportunity for India to diversify its imports and reduce dependency on the Middle East for oil imports. The pipeline will provide cleaner fuel that has multiple uses in fertilisers and petrochemicals industries. Further, it’ll enhance India’s connectivity with Central Asia which India views as a strategically important region in terms of trade and security.
However, as the project moves forward, it is imperative to address various threats and challenges. Security measures for both the construction and operation of the project need to be re-evaluated to ensure compliance with international standard.