ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Moving ahead with pipeline developments in Turkmenistan would provide long-term energy security for downstream consumers, the president said.
Turkmen officials in May agreed to sell natural gas to Asian customers through the 1,050-mile Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline. TAPI could deliver more than 1 trillion cubic feet of Turkmen natural gas per year.
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov told an oil and gas conference in Ashgabat that the pipeline would mean more gas from his country.
"The realization of the TAPI pipeline project will allow an increase in exports of Turkmen gas," he was quoted by Pakistani newspaper The News International as saying.
Turkmenistan has some of the richest deposits of natural gas in the world. U.S. officials have expressed their support for the project, seen as a rival to similar plans for a natural gas pipeline backed by the Iranian government.
TAPI has financial backing from the Asian Development Bank.