Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have agreed to involve a global energy major to execute and manage a USD 7.6 billion natural gas pipeline running through the countries. Senior officials with direct knowledge of the matter said that the decision was taken after Afghanistan assured to secure the pipeline through the Taliban heartland and Pakistan agreed in principle to do so in its territory. The private partner will be inducted through an international bidding by the four countries, jointly referred to as TAPI. The pipeline will start from the Dauletabad gas field in southeast Turkmenistan and after 145km stretch in the country enter Afghanistan. After traversing 735km in Afghanistan and 800km in Pakistan, the pipeline will cross into India. The 1680km pipeline will have a capacity to transport 90mmscmd gas. Asian Development Bank the development partner of the TAPI project had estimated its cost at USD 3.3 billion about 10 years ago. Induction of an energy giant in the consortium is expected to expedite the project and help minimize transportation risks through volatile Afghan and Pakistan regions.