India and Turkmenistan have signed a gas sale purchase agreement (GSPA), worth $7.5 billion USD, to transfer gas from the Turkmenistan gas fields to Afghanistan via the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline. "The flow of natural gas will bring in industrial and economic development in our countries," Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural, Jaipal Reddy, was quoted by (The Hindu) daily as saying on the occasion of signing the deal Reddy described the agreement as a triumph of multilateralism, regional cooperation and economic integration. The TAPI pipeline, 1,680 km long, will have a capacity to carry 90 million metric standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) of gas for a 30-year period and is likely to become operational by 2018. The TAPI pipeline started back in 1995 so as to transfer gas to Pakistan. India was then invited to join the pipeline in 2008. The US is backing the project as it constraints Iran's gas Pipeline, thus putting pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear progra.