Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India signed an agreement in Ashkhabad to build a gas pipeline, called TAPI for its participating countries, transporting Turkmen gas across Central Asia to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The Indian petroleum minister called TAPI Pipeline the “New Silk Road.”
The TAPI gas line would trump an earlier plan to build an Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline.
Pictured from left: Indian Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and Afghan President Hamid Karzai during the signing ceremony of TAPI pipeline project in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on Saturday 11 December 2010.
Not sure about this but isn't it possible Iran could later add into this pipeline through Turkmenistan, further extending across Turkey? If so, it wouldn't be so much as a "trump" as it would be a future realignment.
Also, security in Afghanistan needs to be vastly improved before this project actually becomes feasible.
The prize here is the Indian market. Iran has been negotiating with India for many years over IPI (Iran to Pakistan to India). The TAPI is definitely an alternative to IPI. Can Iran use TAPI to enter the Indian market, I don't believe so. It is not economical, and probably not politically viable. I do agree with you that TAPI project is still facing many challenges, Afghan/Pakistani security issues among them. And Turkmen pricing system might limit its use.
Well the pipeline running through Afghanistan and Pakistan will be busted twice before the gas reaches India from Turkmenistan....
Its a wonderful thing
All others pay for the infrastructure, then Iran comes and injects its gas and cashes in without risk
I would have to agree that this project is DOA as Afghanistan and Pakistan will remain war ravaged for decades to come making this a security and economic nightmare for both Iran and India.
The easist and most stable route for Iran to gain access to the lucrative Indian market is an under-sea pipeline connected to Chah Bahar to Jamnagar (Gujrat state inland channel)and then running north into Central Asia-Turkmenistan via Birjand-Mashad axis from there by-passing both unstable Af-Pak. Iran should be building an energy and commercial transshipment hub in Chah Bahar and Sistan.
Chah Bahar should also be strengthened to give Iran unhindered access into the Indian Ocean in case of Persian Gulf shutdown.
Anon 9:01 PM,
I cannot agree with you more. Chah Bahar is the country's deepwater port and a natural center for commerce with India and China, the two most lucrative markets for decades to come. Your ambitious proposal is very much doable with the current technology available to the country. the hindering factors are the government's lack of vision for commercial development of the country and its political isolation which has prevented India to come to an agreement with Iran over any pipelines.
Mr. Uskowi, the biggest problem for Iran indeed is the lack of political vision and internal bickering that holds us back despite the immense potential of the blessed country full of natural resources and huge size. The Chinese have sunk billions of wasted dollars dredging the useless Pakistani port of Gwader (in Pakistani occupied Baluchistan) which is now a major US military supply port. The Chinese are not pleased with this to say the least.
Chah Bahar since the 70's was envisioned as Iran's gateway to Asia and the airbase and port were vastly improved. The Mullahs have largely ignored economic development in the eastern provinces, particularly Sistan and Khorasan which are Iran's easterly jugular. I hope the regime opens its eyes to the commercial and security dimensions of investing in Chah Bahar. At least, after the destablization threats from Af-Pak, the government activated the Birjand airbase and is upgrading the infrastructure. Iran should be negotiating with a joint China and India consortium to develop the eastern provinces and set them up as commercial and strategic gateways to Asia.
China and India are destined to be #1 and #2 economies of the world by 2025 if not soooner. Iran can tap into this tremendous maket of over 2.5 billion people in these two mega-powers and the Asian region with well over 60% of the global population. Iran should use its PRIME location and energy resources to establish itself as the EurAsian commercial hub and transhipment warehouse for energy hungry Asian markets. Perhaps, Dr. Salehi would take more practical foreign policy steps and talk less bombast as Mottaki. Time and opportunities do not stand still.
I agree with Anon4 's mention of "unhindered access to the Indian Ocean"... and an oil pipeline parallel to the gas pipeline being built, would also be convenient in case of a PG shutdown.
Don't know if extending them underwater to India would be of much use. Overland pipelines can be protected with drones, underwater they would be much more vulnerable to sabotage by "high-tech players".
...or better still: a gasoline pipeline instead of an oil pipeline !
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