Ministers in Kabul moot discuss Afghan trans-border gas pipeline
Islamabad, Sept 16, IRNA -- Oil ministers from Pakistan, Afghanistan
and Turkmenistan are to meet in the Afghan capital Kabul Monday to
review progress on the 1,500-kilometer, $2billion Afghan-Pakistan-
Turkmenistan gas pipeline, officials said.
A three-member Pakistani team, headed by Petroleum Minister Usman
Aminuddin, left for Kabul on Monday morning to represent his country
in the second two-day meeting of the managing committee, its officials
The first meeting of the committee, comprising ministers of the
three countries, was held in the Turkmen capital Ashkabad in July.
The managing committee hopes to thresh out at least the outlines
of a solution in the Kabul moot.
Sources say that the ministers and other senior officials would
review progress and decide on principles to govern the formation of a
consortium that is to undertake implementation.
The pipeline is to carry gas from Turkmenistan's Dauletabad-Donmez
field to Afghanistan and Multan, Pakistan. It is supported by the
Simultaneously, the committee will also evaluate market
requirements in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Japan, Korea and other Asian
countries where gas markets have been expanding phenomenally in the
last five years.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the main sponsor of the project,
had proposed the meeting to be held in Manila after the series of
attacks in Afghanistan.
The bank raised concerns over the rising incidents of firing and
bomb blasts in Afghanistan, but the Afghan Interim Authority insisted
that the moot be held in Afghanistan, assuring the delegates of
On May 30, 2002, the presidents of Pakistan, Turkmenistan and
Afghanistan signed a tripartite accord in Islamabad to revive the
"reluctant pipeline" and formed a high-level managing committee to
oversee progress on phase one of the project.
Phase one includes identification of financiers, evaluation of
potential markets, determination of principles to form a consortium
that will build, operate and own the pipeline and select consultants
to oversee the project.
Sources said that representatives of the World Bank and the Asian
Development Bank will attend the meeting in Kabul. An ADB technical
mission is also expected to visit Islamabad, Kabul and Ashkabad to
finalize terms of reference for the project.
The managing committee, comprising Usman Aminuddin, Pakistani
minister of petroleum and natural resources, Juma Mohammadi, Afghan
minister of mines and industry and Yolly Gurbanmuradov, Turkmen
deputy minister responsible for oil and gas met in Ashkabad in July
2002 to compare notes and formulate future strategy for the
implementation of the project.