Turkmenistan’s decision to start work on the TAPI is a product of its failure to diversify its natural gas exports.
The launch of gas production in Tajikistan (possibly at a level of several billion m3 annually) will be of fundamental significance for the country and will change the balance of power which has thus far been in place in Central Asia. Uzbekistan in particular stands to suffer.
During a visit by the Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Hui Liangyu on 12 September, the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov revealed the start in August of regular gas exports to China. This process was preceded by the signing of an Uzbek-Chinese framework contract to export 10 bcm of gas per annum in June 2010.