Turkmenistan starts gas pipeline construction to move closer to Europe

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, June 1 / Trend H.Hasanov /

A major gas pipeline project was launched this week with the participation of Turkmen President Gurbangulu Berdimuhammedov in the Mary region.

The Turkmengaz state company decided to independently build the East-West domestic gas pipeline within five years and open new ways to diversify export routes to world markets, including to Europe.

The project will provide an additional guarantee for uninterrupted raw materials supplies via international pipelines and will supply power for industrial production in the country, the president said.

Berdimuhamedov emphasized that the "domestic transportation system has improved in accordance with the increasing needs of the national economy and the new realities of international energy partnerships."

The pipeline, with a length of 1,000 kilometers and a capacity of 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year, will fill projected transnational projects, including Nabucco.

Turkmenistan already managed to enter the Chinese market with the commissioning of the international Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline in 2009. The country also built an additional pipeline branch to Iran. However, the Pakistani and Indian markets still remain blocked due to persistent tensions in the transit country of Afghanistan.

However, Berdimuhamedov's recent official visit to Delhi may give a push to the project.

Ashgabat has repeatedly stated that it is ready to provide necessary volumes of gas to potential buyers directly at their borders.

"The situation around the East-West gas pipeline once again demonstrates the country's willingness to deliver its hydrocarbon potential to the borders for all possible customers," a gas transportation company employee said.

The project stipulates the construction of the necessary ground infrastructure.

Turkmenistan ranks fourth in the world after Russia, Iran and Qatar in terms of its hydropcarbon wealth. Recently, Turkmengeologiya once again confirmed the reserves of the South Yoloten Osman Field in Mary, which are estimated at 16 trillion cubic feet of gas. The country planned to export up to 200 billion cubic meters of gas per year by 2030.

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