Monday, July 09, 2012 -
Turkmenistan is prepared to produce nearly 550 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas during the period to 2016, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said Friday.
The authoritarian Turkmen leader also directed government officials to boost foreign investment in the oil and gas sector to help achieve the target, the Reuters news agency reported.
"According to the program ... a total of 448.7 bcm of gas will be produced during this period," state television reported Berdimuhamedov as saying at a cabinet meeting on Friday.
Turkmen officials put gas output in 2011 at 66 bcm but have not revealed the level of production level for the the previous year.
Energy giant BP independently estimated gas output last year at 59.5 bcm, a 41 percent increase over 2010.
Industry specialists say the country is currently able to produce 75 bcm annually.
The increase may be tied to increasing exports in natural gas.
The landlocked Central Asian republic owns the fourth largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the region’s top producer and exporter.
Separately, Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister Baymyrat Hojamuhammedov told a government meeting Saturday the country’s gas exports in 2012 to end-June were up 19.4 percent year-on-year.
Production of natural and associated gas was up 13.8 percent in the first half of 2012, while oil and gas condensate production rose by 7 percent over the same period, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency cited the official as saying.
The meeting was called to overview progress of an oil and gas industry development program to 2030.