Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, July 14 / Trend H. Hasanov /
The beginning of commercial production of natural gas along the Turkmen shelf of the Caspian Sea was a significant event in the successful development of the country's rich hydrocarbon reserves, Turkmen media reported.
A large gas processing plant and ground gas terminal have been recently commissioned near the Kiyanly settlement.
At present, the terminal receives natural gas produced from offshore fields in the Turkmen Caspian shelf by one of the foreign partners of Turkmenistan - the Malaysian company Petronas.
The article of the "Neutral Turkmenistan" newspaper cites President Berdimuhamedov that the beginning of commercial production of natural gas on the Turkmen shelf of the Caspian Sea is of great importance, not only for the national economy but also for Turkmenistan's policy of ensuring global energy security and international cooperation.
According to the forecasts of Turkmen geologists and leading foreign experts, more than a half of the oil reserves and about one-fourth of natural gas reserves fall to the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea. "The enormous hydrocarbon resources contained in the sea-depths of Turkmenistan, the policy of "open doors" conducted by the Turkmen government, mutually beneficial international cooperation, as well as a favorable investment climate - all these contribute to attracting world-famous foreign companies for major projects to develop hydrocarbon deposits in the Caspian Sea," Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary state news service said.
Practical evidence of viable interest is the successful development of the investment project on the exploration and development of sea block 1, with the participation of Malaysia's largest state company. It became the first foreign partner of Turkmenistan in the development of offshore fields in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea.
The Production Sharing Contract in the contract territory "Block 1" was signed between Petronas and the Turkmen government in July 1996. The company received a license to explore and to produce hydrocarbons in 1996, becoming the operator of this major investment project.
Several seismic and drilling operations have been conducted, such large-scale oil and gas fields as Makhtumkuli, Ovez, Mashrykov, Diyarbekir and Garagol Deniz have been in development for over 15 years, since the Production Sharing in the Contract Area of "Block 1" was signed.
Large reserves of hydrocarbons were discovered at these sites. At present, they account for about 75 million tons of crude oil and condensate, and 245 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
The local press stressed that a modern offshore and onshore infrastructure, including the assembly plant for offshore structures used in carrying out oil operations, have been built in the Contract Area. More than $4.5 billion have been invested there.
"It is important that the construction of the plant marked the opportunities for the development of heavy engineering and construction of offshore structures in Turkmenistan. The workshop will also provide services for offshore drilling rigs in the Caspian region, greatly expanding opportunities for cooperation at the regional scale.
Turkmenistan will become a leading center for repair and assembly of offshore structures in the Caspian region in the future, Vatan newspaper said.
"Petronas" (Turkmenistan) started oil production at the Diyarbekir field in 2006.
The foundations of the agreement between the Turkmen Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Petronas Company were signed in March 2007 to implement projects developing gas fields, to build a gas processing plant, and an onshore gas terminal that would start selling natural gas.
A foundation-laying ceremony for the onshore structures was held in Kiyanly in June 2007 as part of the project. It was the beginning of developing these gas fields.
Project developments have proceeded with the construction, installation, and commissioning of the collector platform Magtymkuly-A, a structure on the gravity base and drilling platform Magtymkuly-A. These objects were combined by a 73-kilometer offshore gas pipeline and a pipeline providing hydrocarbons to the gas processing plant.
The onshore gas terminal and a gas-processing plant in Kiyanly, equipped with high-tech systems, are cleaned and prepared for export at the initial stage of 5 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The volume will hit up to 10 billion cubic meters a year in the future.
After thorough cleaning, gas is fully compliant with international quality standards. It is delivered to the gas transportation system of Turkmenistan. At present, it allows exporting fossil fuels to some areas.
Moreover, about 2.4 million tons of gas condensate and up to 4 million tons per year in the future are planned to be produced at offshore fields, developed in partnership with Petronas.
Commissioning the industrial complex in Kiyanly significantly expands the integrated operations and the operations on the development of offshore fields in Turkmenistan.
It was testified by a contract for sale and purchase of gas, signed between the Petronas Company, the State Agency for Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources under the Turkmen President, and the state concern "Turkmengaz". It was signed during Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak's visit to Turkmenistan.
It will provide the high returns from export of gas produced in the Contract Area "Block 1".