Dragon Oil – an independent international oil and gas exploration, development and production business based in Dubai – has discussed the possibility of investing US$10 billion in a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to India.
The Trans-Afghanistan (TAPI) pipeline project has had a lengthy delay due to numerous challenges, such as a lack of security and price-fixing. However, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has stated that on 13 December a ceremony will take place to mark the construction of the pipeline.
Yet, despite beginning construction soon, a private-sector partner has yet to be decided upon.
ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total all pulled out of the project due to the declining oil prices and Turkmenistan’s insistence of holding onto its rights to its gas reserves.
State company Turkmengas is the project leader of the operation.
The General Manager for Dragon Oil in Turkmenistan, Faisal Rabee Al Awadhi, stated that discussions on the TAPI project have “been ongoing for a long time. But now it’s very serious, things have been signed between the countries. That’s why we have shown our interest to go in.”
The TAPI project will begin searching for financing in 2016 after Turkmenistan, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan have initialled the deal.
It has been stated that Turkmengas is seeking to sell up to 34%, thus reducing its stake to 51%.
Al Awadhi said that Dragon Oil’s discussions with the Turkmen government were at an early stage so they had not determined the size of any potential stake. Other investors might include Japanese and Korean companies.
However, many are still skeptical about the pipeline being built after such a prolonged delay.
Dragon Oil produces approximately 100 000 bpd of oil from an offshore field in Turkmenistan. However, Al Awadhi stated that should it have access to an export route, it could “easily” produce 300 million ft3/d (approximately 3.3 billion m3/y).
Edited from various sources by Stephanie Roker
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/23112015/dragon-oil-to-invest-in-tapi/