Project Management Institute

Pipe dream?

a major pipeline project launches in central Asia despite budget insecurities

 

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MAP COURTESY OF CANADIAN CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES

A US$10 billion pipeline project has launched in central Asia, despite concerns that there isn't enough funding to finish it.

Construction began in the former Soviet state of Turkmenistan late last year on the 1,800-kilometer (1,118-mile) pipeline to carry natural gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The project, named TAPI for the countries it will traverse, is moving forward even though three major gas companies have dropped out.

“TAPI remains one of the less likely projects to materialize despite the announcement of the start of construction,” Martin Vladimirov, an energy analyst at the Center for the Study of Democracy in Bulgaria, told Reuters in December.

Project plans call for the pipeline to be operational by the end of 2019, when it would transport 90 million cubic meters (nearly 24 billion gallons) a day.

A consortium of national energy companies from the four countries is sponsoring the project. Turkmenistan's Turkmengaz will lead the construction, while Dubai-based Dragon Oil is also in talks to invest. ExxonMobil and Chevron, however, dropped out of the project in 2014 as oil prices declined and Turkmenistan refused to sign production-sharing agreements. French energy giant Total SA backed out in 2015. Some experts predict Turkmenistan will eventually drop the project in favor of easier ways to improve its economy. —Brigid Sweeney

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PM NETWORK MARCH 2016 WWW.PMI.ORG

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