As a result, Pakistan and India also could not agree on the transit fee for the pipeline’s segment passing through Pakistan which has linked its fee structure with the India-Afghan agreement.
Technical teams of the three countries held talks for two days.
For the pipeline, Afghanistan will charge Pakistan and India a transit fee and Pakistan will charge India the same amount.
Sources said the difference was just of 3 US cents per mmBTU (million British Thermal Unit) and could be settled anywhere in-between but would require political support from the Indian and Afghan leadership and “a push from the US” which was supporting the project.
Pakistan has already cleared a formal signing of gas sales and purchase agreement (GSPA) with Turkmenistan. The agreement is expected to be signed by Turkmengaz and Interstate Gas Company in the first week of May.
The pricing formula finalised by India, Pakistan and Turkmenistan was based on common principles but the base price for India and Pakistan was different. In view of security situation in Afghanistan its reluctance to bear the risks involved, Turkmenistan and Pakistan had agreed to share the risk with an upper and lower limit of risk costs.
The ministerial committee will submit its report to a steering committee comprising federal ministers and the chief minister of Balochistan to examine risk-sharing and transportation costs, transit fee and gas price review mechanism.
The pipeline is expected to bring gas to Pakistan by December 2016, depending on a credible security apparatus in Afghanistan where it will provide 500mmcfd of gas.Turkmenistan also offered to increase the supply to about two billion cubic feet a day if the two sides agreed on transporting about 700 million cubic feet a day (mmcfd) to Gwadar port for eventual sale or export as liquefied natural gas.