Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 97

Turkmen president Saparmurad Niazov, Pakistani prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, and top managers of the U.S. UNOCAL and Saudi Arabia’s Delta Oil companies signed yesterday in Ashgabat an agreement to build a gas export pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan. The 1,400 kilometer-long pipeline, with an annual throughput capacity of 20 billion cubic meters, will cost $2.7 billion to build. It will pump gas from Turkmenistan’s largest deposit, Dauletabad-Donmez, to Pakistani ports on the Indian Ocean. The agreement includes a timetable for immediate steps to form the consortium and start the construction this year.

Most of the 830 kilometer-long Afghan stretch of the pipeline runs through Taliban-controlled territory. Representatives of the parties stated that they have already negotiated security guarantees for the project with local Afghan forces. (Western agencies, Interfax, May 15)

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