Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.27 / Trend A.Badalova /
Despite the large gas reserves Turkmenistan is constrained by the lack of available natural gas transportation infrastructure, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its report.
"Despite vast gas reserves, limited export and investment options pose challenges to monetizing and producing gas resources," EIA's Country Analysis Brief says.
EIA says Turkmenistan currently ranks in the top six countries for natural gas reserves and the top 20 in terms of gas production. Turkmenistan has several of the world's largest gas fields, including 10 with over 3.5 trillion cubic feet of reserves located primarily in the Amu Darya basin in the southeast, the Murgab Basin, and the South Caspian basin in the west.
"Recent major discoveries at South Yolotan in the prolific eastern part of the country are expected to offset most declines in other large, mature gas fields and will likely add to the current proven reserve amounts," EIA reports.
EIA noted that a majority of Turkmen gas travels to Russia where it is consumed or transits through Russia to end markets in Europe.
Currently the country is seeking ways to boost gas production as well as to diversify its portfolio of export markets.
EIA says Turkmenistan has become a leading gas exporter in the Caspian and Central Asian region. "The country exports a majority of its gas because production rates are more than double domestic demand estimated at 720 billion cubic feet per year in 2010," EIA says.
According to BP, Turkmenistan's proved gas reserves amounted to 8 trillion cubic meters of gas in early 2011. The country's gas production increased by 16.4 percent to 42.4 billion cubic metres in 2010.