Turkmenistan's oil and gas output in Q1 of 1999

May 11, 1999 02:00 AM

Turkmenistan's state statistics agency reported that more than 1.7 mm tons of crude oil and gas condensate had been produced in the first quarter of 1999, 14% more than in the same period of last year.
Natural gas output, meanwhile, shot upward in the first quarter, rising 120% year-on-year to 10.4 billion cubic meters.

Turkmen oil and gas output

Q1 98
Q1 99

1.5 mm tonnes
1.7 mm tonnes

4.7 bn cm
10.4 bn cm

The state statistics agency said that 1.2 mm tons of oil had been refined in the first quarter and more than 7 billion manats worth of petroleum products exported in the January-March period. It did not provide comparative data from the same interval of 1998 or reveal how much gasoline, diesel or fuel oil had been produced.
Overall, the figures look like good news for Turkmenistan's oil and gas sector. Oil output rose by a respectable amount, and gas output -- on a steep downward course prior to Gazprom's decision to reopen a major export pipeline through Russia -- is clearly on the rise. (It is not clear where the extra gas being produced is going, particularly since Ukraine, a major customer, recently had to stop buying Turkmen gas for lack of money.)

Trends in the refining industry, however, are less clear. Turkmenistan turned out a total of 988,000 tons of refined petroleum products in the second quarter of 1998; since information on yield from crude at Turkmen refineries was not available, refinery throughput could not be extrapolated from this figure. However, since the April-June figure for petroleum product output in 1998 was under the March-May figure of 1.004 mm tons, it is not unreasonable to assume a continuation of the downward trend; refinery throughput probably did not rise in the first quarter of 1999.
The statistics agency's failure to provide comparative data may lend credence to this speculation. Ashgabat has in recent years been erratic about releasing production data for the strategic oil and gas industry, particularly at times when external factors -- such as Gazprom's closure of the export pipeline in the spring of 1997 -- put downward pressure on output.

Source: NewsBase
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