Russia's Itera launches gas pipeline in Turkmenistan
Russia's large independent oil and gas producer Itera has put into operation its $176 million natural gas pipeline in Turkmenistan, RIA Novosti reported according to the Turkmen television.
The 198-kilometer pipeline is linking gas deposits in the Karakum Desert with the Central Asia - Center gas pipeline system running from Turkmenistan via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to Russia.
The new pipeline will help increase annually supplies of Turkmen natural gas to Russia to 3 billion cubic meters and later to 5 billion.
Turkmenistan, which annually produces some 75 billion cubic meters of gas, is home to South Yolotan, the world's fourth largest gas field with estimated reserves of 4 to 14 trillion cubic meters.
Russia, along with China and Iran, is a major consumer of Turkmen gas. The Central Asia - Center gas pipeline system is controlled by Russia's energy giant Gazprom.
In late September, Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said Turkmenistan would continue to maintain a policy of strategic cooperation with Russia in the oil and gas sphere despite the negative impact of the global economic crisis on joint projects.