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October-26-98

Bridas Ready to Build Pipeline Through Afghanistan

Bridas, an independent energy company in Argentina, is fully prepared to go ahead with their pipeline project in Afghanistan as soon as Taliban officials sign the agreement. The pipeline will cover 790 miles of land from the Dauletabad gas fields in southern Turkmenistan to Multan in western Pakistan; 464 miles will pass through Afghanistan.

Bridas' efforts to build the pipeline will continue regardless the Taliban militia's brutal disregard for human rights. They have not given any conditions that the Taliban must follow, and their plans will go forward even if war between the Taliban and its opposition continues. Bridas representative Mohammed Omar Kakar said, "What I can tell you is that we are in a position to start work on the project immediately after the Taliban sign an agreement with us."

UNOCAL, a California-based oil company, has also expressed interest on the pipeline project, but their participation depends on stable conditions within the country. Despite agreements reached with the Turkmen government, UNOCAL and the Central Asia Gas (CentGas) consortium, formed in 1996, have postponed the project due to continued fighting within Afghanistan.

In August, UNOCAL chief executive Roger Beach said, "We aren't going to do anything there until there is a stable government in Afghanistan and one that is recognized by the United Nations."

Media Resources: Reuters - October 23, 1998

   

     

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