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Afghan War Could Delay Unocal Pipeline

June 06, 1997|(Bloomberg News)

A $2-billion pipeline to carry natural gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan could be delayed years or scrapped entirely unless peace comes to Afghanistan, a Unocal executive said. Unocal, based in El Segundo, has signed an agreement to move 24.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from Turkmenistan in central Asia to energy-starved Pakistan. The 600-mile-long pipeline would run across strife-torn Afghanistan. "It's uncertain when this project will start," said Martin Miller, a Unocal vice president. Miller said that Unocal has talked with the many warring factions in Afghanistan, but the company is willing to sign a contract only with a government that "enjoys broad internal support, international support." Unocal shares lost 37.5 cents to close at $42 on the NYSE.

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