South Korea and Turkmenistan tie up for Caspian exploration

Nov 07, 2008 01:00 AM

South Korea and Turkmenistan have agreed to push for joint oil and gas exploration projects in the Caspian Sea and other locations in the energy-rich Central Asian country, Seoul officials said.
The accord was reached at a summit between President Lee Myung-Bak and visiting Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, according to the presidential office.

Berdymukhamedov is the first Turkmen head of state to visit South Korea since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations in 1992. At the summit, the Turkmen leader also invited South Korean companies to participate in his country's projects to modernize oil refineries and build desulfurization facilities and plants for gas pipelines, the office said.
In return, South Korea agreed to help Turkmenistan improve its social infrastructure, officials said, noting the accord could be another oil-for-infrastructure deal.

Energy-poor South Korea is seeking stakes in oil and gas fields in underdeveloped countries in exchange for providing infrastructure and economic development. The country's Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo travelled to Turkmenistan in May during a series of energy-focused visits to Central Asian nations.
Turkmenistan is the world's tenth-largest exporter of natural gas and has large oil reserves in the Caspian Sea. It has been actively pushing to expand its social and economic infrastructure over the past year, officials said.

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