Wednesday, July 18, 2012 -
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov ordered officials Tuesday to intensify the search for new oil and gas deposits in the hydrocarbon-rich Central Asian state.
The Turkmen leader told meeting participants that the industry’s current priority tasks are to increase oil and gas extraction, diversify the exports of hydrocarbons, and modernize the fuel-energy sector, a government news release said.
This will be achieved by speeding up the “equipping of new oil and gas areas, intensifying exploration and drilling operations in searching for new reserves, and introducing modern technologies into the fuel and energy complex,” the Trend news agency reported.
Turkmenistan has the world’s fourth largest reserves of natural gas, while the industry is a fundamental part of its fledgling economy.
The president’s directives coincided with confirmation by British multinational oil and gas company BP at an energy conference in Ashgabat of the country’s huge amounts of proven gas reserves, the Turkish Weekly news agency reported.
BP vice president and chief economist Christof Ruehl said that Turkmenistan’s proven gas reserves in 2011 amounted to 24.3 trillion cubic meters, almost 50 percent higher than had been estimated a year earlier.
Despite its geographic isolation, the landlocked Central Asian state provides increasing levels of gas supplies to energy-hungry China, whose growth in gas consumption last year was second to none.