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Cabinet approves TAPI gas pact

New Delhi, May 17: The Union cabinet has given its approval to the agreement to bring gas from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Officials said the cabinet had also approved the transit fee to bring gas through the $7.6-billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline.

Petroleum minister S. Jaipal Reddy is slated to visit Turkmenistan next week to sign the sale and purchase agreement, officials said.

The gas will be purchased for about $8 to $10 per million British thermal unit at Turkmenistan’s Dauletabad gasfield.

It will be transported through a 1,680km pipeline traversing the Herat, Helmand and Kandahar provinces in Afghanistan.

The pipeline will pass through Multan in Pakistan and end at Fazilka in Punjab.

Turkmenistan will deliver the gas at the Afghanistan border and thereafter a consortium of companies would take responsibility for establishing, operating and maintaining the transnational pipeline.

Apart from the gas price, India will pay $0.50 per mmBtu (million metric British thermal unit) as a transit fee to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The delivered price of gas on the Indian border will be $10-$12 per mmBtu compared with $4.20 per mmBtu price of domestic gas and $16 per mmBtu rate of gas imported in ships in liquid form.