By: Hailey Bernys
Summary. The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline is a trans-country natural gas pipeline. The TAPI pipeline is expected to transport 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas each year. It was originally created to create revenue from Turkmenistan’s gas reserves by exporting natural gas from Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. Afghanistan is expected to receive 400 million dollars a year as a transit fee for the pipeline. Some benefits from the creation of the pipeline is that it will facilitate trade and cooperation among the region. The pipeline is sometimes referred to as the “peace” pipeline because it will support peace and security between the four countries involved. Another benefit is the long term energy security that will be provided to more than 1.5 billion people in Afghanistan. Afghanistan and Pakistan will receive benefits of transit fees and for Turkmenistan the revenues are assumed to increase from the sale of gas. The TAPI pipeline will help diversify trade routes and help spread its natural gas production to others. There are of course downsides to the pipeline such as disagreements over prices and transit fees. Wars could break out from these disagreements and they have in the past such as Ukraine and Russia back in 2014. However, Afghanistan views this pipeline more so a form of connectivity rather than separation which is positive. This isn’t to say maybe at some point there won’t be disagreements but the pipeline was created to support peace between the countries. Turkmenistan currently sends much of its gas production to China and before the coronavirus it was running at full capacity but with coronavirus there was a slow down in demand which prevented Turkmenistan from increasing its gas production. With the pipeline they can seams and trade much of their natural gas supply. The pipeline is said to serve for at least 30 years but pipelines in general can typically serve 30-100 years.
Why we should care? We should care about this topic because it is one of the best solutions to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. This helps the environment by slowing climate change and reducing pollutants you would find in the air.
I found this article interesting because it covered this topic very well and explained what I had talked about very thoroughly and in a manner that was easy to understand. Someone who doesn’t know anything about this topic at all could read this article and walk away with a really good understanding of the TAPI pipeline. I wasn’t able to find a current article from 2021 but I found the closest one I could and used that. The pipeline is supposed to be done in 2022 so I’m surprised there isn’t more current information on this topic.
Science in Action.
Dr. Mirza Saqadat Huda is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at OSCE Academy in Bishkek.
Dr. Huda studies the environmental and social impacts of infrastructure development. This is relevant to my topic because the TAPI pipeline is an example of an infrastructure development and it has to do with our environment as well as the social inner workings between the four countries it runs through. These countries have conflicts especially with Afghanistan and the Taliban trying to take over so this is definitely a topic he would be interested in. Primarily, he’s interested in the link between natural resource governance and conflict resolution. Which also ties into the topic because of the natural gas being a natural resource as well as the potential conflicts that can arise between the four countries involved.