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    Gas Pipelines set to bring big revenues to Pakistan/Afghanistan

    http://www.dawn.com/2002/05/30/top15.htm


    Pipe dreams

    As Pakistan and India appear on the brink of a devastating conflict, some on the subcontinent hope the prospect of billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues may yet hold them back from war, writes Rory McCarthy

    Friday May 31, 2002

    Yesterday in Islamabad the leaders of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan met to revive the ambitious dream of building a 1.4bn gas pipeline to run from central Asia, through Afghanistan and down to the Arabian Sea off the southern Pakistani coast.
    Few believe Afghanistan is secure enough to take such an expensive project. Most provinces are still ruled by rival warlords who often owe fickle allegiance to the government in Kabul. Any pipeline that is on or near the surface would be vulnerable to attack.

    Yet the dream of a 930-mile pipeline that would carry 23bn cubic metres of gas a year and bring the Afghan government an annual 205m in transit fees alone is too good to resist.

    "Now with the gradual return of peace and normality in Afghanistan, we are confident that this mega-project will be realised in the near future," said General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's military ruler. The prospect of a lucrative pipeline deal may yet be a key factor in encouraging the Islamabad regime to pull back from the threat of a devastating war with India, which could scuttle the plans as quickly as they have been revived.

    Gen Musharraf signed a new agreement on the pipeline yesterday with Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's interim leader, and Sapamurat Niyazov, the Turkmen president. The US oil giant Unocal has been looking at the project for the past decade, battling against an Argentinean rival, Bridas Corporation, which also hoped to win the rights. In the early days of the Taliban regime Unocal officials held meetings with the ultra-Islamic clerics hoping for their support, but with little success. Now Unocal's first feasibility study needs to be updated and the project has to be put out to tender and the funding secured.

    Gas analysts warn the project would be vulnerable to disruption by warlords unless it was buried deep enough in the ground, which would add considerable extra costs. Already the size of the project means large industrial buyers would be expected to pay over the odds for the gas at first. Pakistan is hoping that the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank might step in and help finance the deal.

    Gen Musharraf, his eyes clearly on the vast earnings and strategic importance oil and gas could bring Pakistan, is also looking at a second 2bn pipeline that would run from Iran through Pakistan into India. Although the Indian market offers a huge opportunity, the pipeline project would have to overcome five decades of hostility between the nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

    With the two nations threatening war, now seems an unlikely time to start talking about a pipeline. Yet senior Russian officials have visited Pakistan this month, ostensibly to talk about peace with India but also to push Gazprom's bid to build the pipeline. If Gen Musharraf is unable to build a peaceful relationship with India some have suggested bypassing Pakistan by building an underwater pipe from Iran round to India. That would cost Pakistan dear.

    =============================================


    A promising scenario: India fails to make a decisive move after much bluster and talk of war, the feeble BJP Hindu Nationalists are kicked out of power by an enraged public for proving to be paper tigers leading to a more reasonable and secular leadership in India headed by Sonia Gandhi's Congress Party.

    A thhawing of relations between Pakistan and India as a result of the elimination of India's Hindu extremist element leading to a supply of gas to India through pipelines in Pakistan.

    Hope is not lost

    #2
    It was surprising for me to hear from someone that Hamid Karzai was working at a point in time for UNOCAL!
    No wonder the yankees suported his bid for heading the interim setup in Afghanistan and the parties to whom this will probably be contracted is UNOCAL and a consortium of its sort.
    Any comments on the probable link-up between UNOCAL and Mr. Hamid Karzai's nomination as the head of the interim set-up??

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      #3
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/bus...00/2017044.stm

      The leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan have agreed to construct a $2bn pipeline to bring gas from Central Asia to the sub-continent.
      The project was abandoned in 1998 when a consortium led by US energy company Unocal withdrew from the project over fears of being seen to support Afghanistan's then Taliban government.


      Work stopped on the project in 1998

      The President of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Nayazov, the chairman of Afghanistan's interim administration Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf signed a memorandum of understanding in Islamabad on Thursday.

      President Musharraf said the 1,500km pipeline would run from Turkmenistan's Daulatabad gas fields to the Pakistani port city of Gwadar.

      The Pakistani leader said once the project is completed, Central Asia's hydrocarbon resources would be available to the international market, including East Asian and other far eastern countries.

      Pakistan has plans to build a liquid-gas plant at the Gwadar port for export purposes.

      Call for interest

      The three countries have agreed to invite international tenders and guarantee funding before launching the project.

      Unocal has repeatedly denied it is interested in returning to Afghanistan despite having conducted the original feasibility study to build the pipeline.

      There is also a question mark over stability in Afghanistan, but interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai said peace was prevailing all over the country.

      Afghan officials believe the pipeline could yield significant revenues for the impoverished country in the form of transit fees.

      The pipeline could eventually supply gas to India.

      President Musharraf also said he was committed to a proposed gas pipeline from Iran through Pakistan to India as it was in his country's economic interest.

      Comment


        #4
        Stick to the topic of discussion

        [This message has been edited by outlaw (edited May 31, 2002).]
        Boycott Venezuelas State owned Citgo.

        Buy Royal Dutch Shell gasoline!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Ohioguy:
          Hmmm,

          Peace is good.

          People make money with peace.

          What a concept.

          Will the Jihadi's listen?

          Will the money line some politician's pockets or help the people?

          Or will all those new dollars go toward new nuclear weapons, tanks and aircraft.

          I have a few guesses.....
          Nice guesses

          LONG LIVE PAKISTAN

          Comment


            #6
            A promising scenario: India fails to make a decisive move after much bluster and talk of war, the feeble BJP Hindu Nationalists are kicked out of power by an enraged public for proving to be paper tigers leading to a more reasonable and secular leadership in India headed by Sonia Gandhi's Congress Party.

            A thhawing of relations between Pakistan and India as a result of the elimination of India's Hindu extremist element leading to a supply of gas to India through pipelines in Pakistan.

            Hope is not lost [/B]
            That is all that Pakistan has to do. Stand up to the hindu extremists and fundementalists and not withdraw for one moment from thier stance.

            War is futile agar vo loag apne hairiat chahte hai.

            Comment


              #7
              http://www.khaleejtimes.co.ae/
              New phase of Great Game in pipeline, say analysts

              ISLAMABAD - It may not be as romantic as the 19th-century cloak-and-dagger antics of British and Russian spies, but yesterday's historic move towards laying a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan is a new phase in the legendary Great Game, analysts say. "The Great Game related to energy has just begun," Lieutenant-General Hameed Gul, former chief of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, said.
              And while British and Russian adventurers conned and connived for the control of trade routes in Central Asia, the new players have the modern equivalent in sight - fuel. "During the course of time the energy resources of the Gulf states are going to dwindle and there are going to be enormous resources available in Central Asia," said Gul. "Whoever gets there first obviously has an advantage. This is the game to regulate the energy resources of Central Asia."

              The leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan signed an agreement towards opening up the Turkmen gas reserves by laying a pipeline to Pakistan over Afghanistan. Pakistani officials said the gas line, a first for the country, is expected to be followed swiftly by an oil line. The fuel will then be pumped into a thirsty world economy from Pakistan. A.R. Kamal, director of the Pakistan Institute of Development, said it was no coincidence the agreement comes just months after a new government was installed in Kabul.

              "This development is rather significant," said Mr Kamal, referring to the memorandum of understanding signed here yesterday. "If it materialises and the basic problem that was security in Afghanistan is removed, then it is really a big breakthrough. This project has been there since the early 1990s but peace and stability in Afghanistan was the main factor which prevented it."

              Gul was convinced America had its eye on controlling global energy resources. "The American desire at the moment is to capture the 21st century as the American century and they do not want any other power to interfere in their very coveted position," he said. "They can obviously then regulate the economy of the world through the energy tap.

              "I think it is not only America's corporate interest of exploiting the energy resources of Central Asia but there is a strategic implication to this." He said the players assembled in Islamabad this week - interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Turkmen President Sapamurat Niyazov - were itching to get the deal done.

              "This agreement is coming in a hurry," said Gul. "They are in a hurry so that a treaty could be concluded before a new government is installed in Afghanistan." But he warned not everyone may play by the rules.

              "It is a very messy game and it has just started - and let's see how it ends," he said. - AFP

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