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Major interest expressed in TAPI pipeline

Oct. 2, 2012 at 6:17 AM

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. and regional energy companies expressed interest in a role in a multilateral gas pipeline planned from Turkmenistan, the government said.

Turkmenistan's Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources said multilateral discussions focused on accelerated implementation of the planned Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline.

The region's Trend news service reports that representatives from Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, BG Group and Malaysia's Petronas expressed interest in participating in the planned 1,043-mile pipeline.

Turkmen officials in May agreed to sell natural gas to Asian customers through the TAPI pipeline. The government said delivering gas through the pipeline would provide energy security to Asia.

The pipeline has financial backing from the Asian Development Bank. Prospects are complicated, however, by security concerns in war-torn Afghanistan.

The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reports that Turkmenistan has proven natural gas reserves of around 265 trillion cubic feet. The pipeline could deliver more than 1 trillion cubic feet of Turkmen natural gas to downstream consumers per year.

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