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Will the War in Afghanistan Finally Pay Off?

Will the War in Afghanistan Finally Pay Off?
In this Feb. 23, 2018 photo, workers at the Turkmen-Afghan border prepare to weld the first link crossing the frontier during the integration ceremony of the pipeline in Serhetabat, Turkmenistan. The 1840-kilometer (1140-mile) TAPI pipeline is to carry 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year, an important new export for Turkmenistan. (Alexander Vershinin/AP)

Thursday, 01 March 2018 04:39 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In my previous blog of Dec. 12, 2016, I reviewed the causes and history of our war in Afghanistan which started in 2002 and of this date, cost the U.S. taxpayer 1.077 trillion dollars. All this money was spent to force the Taliban government, and later the Taliban rebels, to allow us to build a pipeline from the Dauletabad natural gas field in Turkmenistan through Afghanistan, and Pakistan, to India to cover the huge demand for energy in those countries.

Despite the ups-and-downs of the still-active war and the changes in the Afghan government, our oil companies never gave up their dreams to have the so-called TAPI pipeline completed.

Finally, it seems, this dream came true. After long discussions with the governments of the involved countries concerning primarily "transfer costs" ( meaning monies being paid to allow gas to pass through one country to the end user in this case India). One may remember that the quarrel about transfer fees started the war between Russia and Chechnya in 1999.

In February of 2018 all problems seemed to be resolved and the project to lay a 1,000 mile long 1.6 m (56 inches) diameter gas pipeline, having a capacity of up to 3.2 billion cubic feet per day, got the green light from all involved parties with the strong support of the U.S. government. Under the agreement, Pakistan is entitled to receive 25 percent of all gas passing through the pipeline.

The section from the Turkmenistan gas field to the Afghan border was started on Dec. 13, 2015 and is now completed. On Feb. 23, 2018, construction started on the Afghan side by the TAPI Pipeline Company and with participation of the Asian Development Bank. It seems some accommodations with the Afghan rebels, or the local district chiefs, were made to let the pipeline through, which will be passing along the highway between Herat (close to the Iranian border) and Qandahar on to Quetta in Pakistan and then on to India.

While the bulk of the pipeline will be buried underground and is therefore safe from sabotage, there have to be compressor stations along the line in order to keep the gas flowing. These could be vulnerable to attack. This may be the reason that President Trump is sending additional troops to Afghanistan. They may be needed to guard the construction crews. To add to the potential hazards, pipe line crews may also encounter buried land mines.

Despite all this, let’s wish the company consortium which invested much money, and 16 years of waiting, good luck in their undertaking, which is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

Hans Baumann is a licensed engineer in four states and a member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. He is an adviser to the dean of the University of New Hampshire Business School. Dr. Baumann has published manuals on valves and was a contributor to many works including the "Instrument Engineers' Handbook" and the "Control Valves Handbook." He has also published several books on business management and German history, including "Hitler's Escape," which suggests that Adolf Hitler did not commit suicide and survived World War II. In his latest book, "Atomic Irony" he proves that the Hirshoma Atom Bomb contained captured German Uranium. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Despite the ups-and-downs of the still-active war and the changes in the Afghan government, our oil companies never gave up their dreams to have the so-called TAPI pipeline completed.
tapi, pipeline, turkmensitan
Thursday, 01 March 2018 04:39 PM
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