Turkmenistan reveals recent developments in East-West, TAPI pipelines Energy
By Aynur Karimova
Turkmenistan, which ranks sixth for its natural gas reserves of 265 trillion cubic feet, has started supplying gas to its Ahal province via the recently commissioned East-West gas pipeline.
Turkmen Oil and Gas and Natural Resources Ministry reported that the natural gas, transported via the East-West gas pipeline, will be considered as a source for the gasoline production enterprise that is now under construction and for the agricultural fertilizer plants, and will be delivered to gas turbine power plants in the Ahal province.
The East-West pipelineв's total length is 733 kilometers, while its capacity is 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Turkmenistan, being one of the key players in the gas market of the Caspian Sea region and Central Asia, produces about 70-80 billion cubic meters of gas a year. It sits on some 17 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, with some estimates placing that figure upwards of 25 or 26 trillion cubic meters.
Given the country's huge reserves and plans to diversify routes, Turkmenistan has been consistently promoting the Western vector of energy partnership. The country is considering the European market as one of the most promising areas of gas supply.
The Ministry also said that by uniting all large gas fields in one system, the East-West gas pipeline also creates conditions for exporting Turkmen fuel to world markets in any direction.
The Ministry went on to add that preparations for the construction of linear part of the Turkmen section of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline are being completed.
"The subdivisions of the state concern 'Turkmennebitgazgurlyshyk" prepared more than 6,312 meters of pipes with a diameter of 1,420 mm for welding-up of pipe sections," Turkmen ministry noted.
TAPI with a capacity of pumping 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year will extend from Galkynysh field in Turkmenistan through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar, and along to its final point at a settlement along the Pakistani-Indian border.
After laying the linear part of the gas pipeline, automation and remote control system will be introduced in the Turkmen section. This system will make it possible to carry out the management of the entire gas pipeline network from a single control point: to increase and reduce gas flows depending on export requirements.
In addition, on the route of the pipeline from the Galkynysh super-giant field till the border with Afghanistan, the designers have completed a topographic survey and a complex of engineering and survey work. This will make it possible to select the best route for the gas pipeline and to determine the characteristics of the pipe used for gas transportation.
Also, work continues on the analysis and the selection of equipment that must be installed on the linear part of the pipeline and its ground supporting sectors.
TAPI is seen as an opportunity to pave the way for stability in Afghanistan and could contribute to the rehabilitation of the war-torn country.
The implementation of the project will also strengthen Turkmenistan's independence, and as a result its gas supplies to world markets will significantly increase.
It is expected that the implementation of the TAPI pipeline project would represent an enormous breakthrough for Turkmenistan's capabilities as an international energy player.