Turkmen president: Scientific approach must be followed in developing Caspian Sea
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Dec. 28 / Trend H.Hasanov /
A purely scientific approach must be followed while developing the Caspian Sea and its coast, Turkmen President, Gurbangulu Berdimuhammedov said at a government meeting, the Altin Asir national television channel reported.
Noting that modernization of the transport infrastructure and use of high-tech systems in the communication sector are a key factors for the socio-economic, scientific and technical advances of the country, Berdimuhammedov demanded that rigorous control be kept over the activity aimed at developing these sectors to meet global trends.
Berdimuhammedov announced a set of targets before Deputy Prime Minister Gurbani Mezilov. He must establish the development of modern scientific principles of analysis and ensure the scientific basis of proposals and projects in the oil and gas sphere in the Caspian Sea.
He also spoke about the importance of revitalizing the Oil and Gas Institute of the State Concern Turkmengaz in research efforts of hydrocarbon resources in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea.
The Turkmen government and Azerbaijan reached agreement on a joint international conference on the ecology of the Caspian Sea, the Turkmen media reported in late November. A recently convened intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation in Baku called for a joint conference in the near future.
Berdimuhammedov's decree calls on Turkmenistan to strengthen its environmental assessments of oil and gas projects in the Caspian Sea. The likely construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, which would deliver resources to the Nabucco project, is currently undergoing review.
According to the U.S Western Geco Geophysical Company, reserves in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian shelf hit 11 billion tons of oil and 5.5 trillion cubic meters of gas, excluding already contracted blocks.
Foreign participation is of great importance in developing the Caspian Sea's reserves. Ashgabat put up 32 licensed Caspian blocks for international tender. Negotiations are underway with U.S. Chevron, ConocoPhilips, Marathon, Midland Oil and Gas, British Petroleum, Austrian OMV, Norwegian Statoil Hydro, French Total and several companies from the Far East and the Persian Gulf.