Indian Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said that the ground breaking ceremony for the pipeline project is scheduled on Sunday.

Pradhan was quoted by Press Trust of India as saying: "Turkmen Government is holding a ground breaking ceremony on December 13, 2015 for commencing laying of the pipeline with Turkmenistan."

The 1,800km pipeline project is intended to export up to 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas annually sourced from Turkmenistan Dauletabad and Galkynysh gas fields to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

Turkmenistan is estimated to host fourth-largest natural gas reserves in the world.

In particular, the project is expected to supply more than 1.3 billion ft³ per day of gas to Pakistan and India and 0.5 billion ft³ to Afghanistan.

Turkmenistan’s state company Turkmengaz will lead the project consortium with 51% stake.

Other consortium partners include Afghan Gas Enterprise, Pakistan’s Inter State Gas Systems and Indian natural gas processing and distribution giant Gail.

In November 2014, the four firms launched a company called Tapi Pipeline Company (TPCL) to build, own and operate the pipeline project.

Scheduled to be commissioned in 2018, the pipeline is expected to transport 90 million standard cubic meters a day (mmscmd) of gas and has a operational life of 30 years.

Image: Turkmenistan will supply natural gas to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. Photo: courtesy of Suriya Kankliang/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.