Turkmenistan’s High Stakes Poker Game Upon Which Many Promises Have Been Made

From Eurasianet.org, a terrific look at Turkmenistan’s delicate balance of making promises to various regional hydrocarbon players, all without the benefit of a published, independent audit of the nation’s petroleum reserves.  As the article notes:

“…Turkmenistan is believed to be one of the top five nations in the world, in terms of natural gas reserves. … According to some estimates, the country could be sitting on top of as much as 9 trillion cubic meters of gas, or as little as 2 trillion cubic meters.

…Over the last year, Turkmenistan has shown interest in three major pipeline projects; the Prikaspiisky route that would vastly expand Turkmen exports via Russia; the Western-controlled trans-Caspian route to Azerbaijan; and an Eastern connection with China. Berdymukhamedov in late November signaled a desire to hasten the expansion of the Prikaspiisky pipeline.

Many experts believe that completion of the Prikaspiisky project, now expected in 2012, would enable Russia to prolong its dominance over Turkmen gas exports. Berdymukhamedov, however, continues to indicate that Turkmenistan possesses enough gas not only to fulfill a deal already signed with China, but to also have enough left over to make construction of a trans-Caspian pipeline economically viable.

…Companies remain eager for opportunities to enter the Turkmen market. On December 3, construction began on a $4-billion development project that would transform the western city of Turkmenbashi into a tourist destination. One of the chief investors in the project is the Russian energy company Itera.

Also on December 3, the chief of the Kazakhstani energy company KazMunaiGaz, Uzakbai Karabalin, met with Berdymukhamedov and expressed interest in the entity’s involvement in tourism-related projects, according to a report distributed by the Turkmenistan.ru website….”

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2007 at 11:12 pm and is filed under China, Kazakhstan, KazMunaiGas, Russia, Turkmenistan.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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