ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran is ready to participate in a gas swap between Pakistan and Turkmenistan, but a long-planned pipeline to transport gas from Turkmenistan to India is unlikely to become operational, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported on Monday.
“I see it unlikely for the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline to become operational and Iran is ready for this swap to Pakistan,” Fars quoted the head of the National Iranian Gas Company, Hamidreza Araqi, as saying.
The TAPI pipeline - named after the countries involved, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India - was first proposed three decades ago. But the region’s complex geopolitics and security concerns have hindered its construction.
TAPI will transport 33 billion cubic meters of gas a year along an 1,800 km (1,125 mile) route from Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh, the world’s second-biggest gas field, to Fazilka in northwest India.
“We have announced our readiness to Turkmenistan for exporting their natural gas to Pakistan, but have not received any response from them,” Araqi said.
“Given Iran’s situation in the centre of the region, we can join every gas pipeline that passes around the country.”
Writing by Parisa Hafezi, editing by Louise Heavens and Alexander Smith