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Afghanistan signs 30-year gas pipeline deal

July 15, 2013 at 7:08 AM

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, July 15 (UPI) -- The Afghan government said it signed a 30-year gas sales and purchase agreement for a multilateral pipeline planned from Turkmenistan.

Parties to the planned Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline met last week in Ashgabat for a regular meeting of the pipeline's steering committee.

The Afghan Foreign Affairs Ministry announced Saturday it signed a 30-year deal with the Turkmen government for the pipeline, Afghanistan's online Khaama Press reports.

Afghanistan will receive 17.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year during the first 10 years of the pipeline's operation. Its allocation from the pipeline would increase gradually to 52 billion cubic feet per year in the following decades.

The report said delegates to the meeting in Ashgabat agreed to a joint consortium operating in coordination with the Asian Development Bank to help steer the company forward. It would consist of energy companies from pipeline member states and would come into being formally by the end of the year.

The Afghan report said the pipeline would generate $500 million in sales income per year for the Afghan government.

TAPI is seen as a rival to a similar project planned from Iran.

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