While the American “pivot” to Asia seems stalled in light of the Syrian crisis, China’s pivot west, to Central Asia, is in full swing. Crisscrossing the region, in a path reminiscent of the Silk Road, President Xi Jingping has been making numerous well received speeches and deals from Ashgabat to Astana.
Unsurprisingly, many of the agreements arising from this trip relate to the energy sector. In Turkmenistan, the Chinese leader helped inaugurate the start of production at the world’s second largest gasfield, Galkynysh, while also finalizing a deal for the Chinese state-owned energy corporation, China National Petroleum Corp, to build facilities which should process 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Read more “Chinese Leader Follows Silk Road, Signs Energy Deals”
On Wednesday Turkmenistan finally signed agreements with India and Pakistan’s state energy companies to clear the way for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.
TAPI was conceptualized in the 1990s and has been beset with a multitude of problems since. Wednesday’s announcement removes a major obstacle for the TAPI project but many more remain.
The pipeline would begin in Turkmenistan’s vast gasfields. Initial TAPI plans called for the source to be the Dauletabad field in southern Turkmenistan. More recent plans indicate that a portion of TAPI would come from the yet to be developed South Yolotan field near the Afghan border. Read more “Turkmenistan Finally Puts the “T” in TAPI”