Update on CentGas Consortium
The CentGas consortium was cancelled after UNOCAL, the biggest shareholder in the project pulled out due to the public pressure.
The Feminist women groups in the United States alleged that UNOCAL was helping the Taliban regime that has been ruthlessly killing the minorities in the Afghanistan, and have barred women from every facet of life. The mounting public pressure forced UNOCAL to withdraw from this project in 1998.
Unocal Withdrawal Statement from CENTGAS Pipeline Project 12/10/98
Effective December 4, 1998, Unocal has withdrawn from the Central Asia Gas (CentGas) pipeline consortium for business reasons. Unocal no longer has any role in supporting the development or funding of
As a result of portfolio rationalization and successes around the world in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Latin America, West Africa and the U.S. Gulf of
Mexico, Unocal is concentrating on its core areas in this time of reduced oil prices.
Unocal had served as the development manager for the seven-member Central Asia Gas (CentGas)
pipeline consortium, which was formed in October 1997 to evaluate and, if appropriate, to participate in the future construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to natural gas markets in Pakistan and,
potentially, India. Contrary to some published reports, Unocal was not a party to any commercial agreement with any individual Afghanistan faction.
Since the pipeline project was
first proposed in 1995, there have been a number of complex issues that Unocal has taken very seriously. Unocal recognized the legitimate concerns regarding the treatment of women in Afghanistan. Consistent with our core values and
business principles, Unocal provided humanitarian support and skills training to Afghanistan through CARE and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Neither program was designed to provide pipeline construction skills training. These
programs met or exceeded UN guidelines for doing fieldwork in Afghanistan. They included basic job skills training and education for both men and women, and elementary education for boys and girls. Unocal also supported earthquake
relief efforts through the Red Cross and the United Nations.
The Centgas Consortium Oct, 1997
The Centgas consortium consisted of six international companies and the Government of Turkmenistan to form Central Asia Gas Pipeline, Ltd. The 48-inch diameter pipeline was to extend
790 miles (1,271 kilometers) from the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan border, generally follow
the Herat-to-Kandahar Road through Afghanistan, cross the Pakistan border in the vicinity of Quetta, and terminate in Multan, Pakistan, where it would tie into an existing pipeline system. Turkmenistan was tol construct a pipeline that will link with the CentGas line at the border and stretch approximately 105 miles (169 kilometers) to the Dauletabad Field. A potential 400-mile (644-kilometer) extension from Multan to New Delhi also also was under consideration. Estimated cost of the project is US$1.9 billion for the segment to Pakistan, and an additional US$600 million for the extension to India.
The Dauletabad Field has independently certified
reserves of more then 25 trillion cubic feet (708 billion cubic meters). The Government of Turkmenistan has guaranteed deliverability of 25 trillion cubic feet (708 billion cubic meters) of natural gas exclusively for the Central Asia Gas Pipeline. Much or all of this gas is expected to come from the Dauletabad Field.
UNOCAL had entered a one million dollar contract with the University of Nebraska to train workers in Afghanistan specifically for pipeline construction. Unocal officials say they are
also seeking to improve conditions for afghan women. While the oil giant denied working with the Taliban, women's groups said that, according to media reports in France and Britian, a delegation of high ranking Taliban officals met
with the UNOCAL in Texas in December to discuss the building of a pipeline. On December 15, 1997 UNOCAL arranged a high level meeting in Washington between the US
Undersecretary of State for South Asia Karl Inderforth and the Taliban delegation . The Taliban delegation included Acting Minister for Mines and Industry Ahmad Jan, Acting Minister for Culture and Information Amir Muttaqi, Acting Minister for Planning Din Muhammad, and Mujahid - the Taliban permanent Delegate on the United Nations. In Febraury, company representatives allegedly visited Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, for four days where they held talks with Taliban authorities on oil and gas exploration in Afghanistan. After a delegation from CENTGAS visited Afghanistan, Mawlawi Ahmad Jan - the Taliban mines and industries minister - said that preparations to build the pipeline should begin by the end of 1998.
The CentGas Consortium Members
- Unocal Corporation (U.S.), 46.5 percent
- Delta Oil Company Limited (Saudi Arabia), 15 percent
- The Government of Turkmenistan, 7 percent
- Indonesia Petroleum, LTD. (INPEX) (Japan), 6.5 percent
- ITOCHU Oil Exploration Co., Ltd. (CIECO) (Japan), 6.5 percent
- Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. (Korea), 5 percent
- The Crescent Group (Pakistan), 3.5 percent