Friday, March 23, 2012 -
The proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline has sparked the interest of two leading U.S. oil corporations, a U.S. government official said Friday.
"A couple of major US oil companies are interested," said Daniel Stein, senior advisor to the special envoy for Eurasian Energy in the United States, the Reuters news agency reported.
The pipeline, which will supply Afghanistan and energy-hungry Pakistan and India with Turkmen gas, has won support from the United States government as it leaves Iran out of the equation.
He did not divulge the names of the companies.
"We would like to see a U.S. company involved at some point in TAPI," Stein said.
The development was announced in Washington as a high-level Turkmen delegation was in the U.S. capital for talks with senior officials.
Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov is expected to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the two-day visit, which concludes Friday.
The proposed $7.6 billion pipeline plan has been beset by delays over the security situation in conflict-torn Afghanistan as well as supply and pricing disagreements.
A four-way discussion on TAPI opened in the Indian capital New Delhi on Thursday and will continue for three more days.