Iran to help Turkmenistan develop its biggest gas field

Feb 15, 2009 01:00 AM

Iran has signed an agreement to help Turkmenistan develop its biggest gas field in exchange for more gas imports.
The tentative deal is a strategic coup for Tehran, which has long sought to establish the Islamic Republic as a transit country for gas from the Caspian region. It also suggests that Turkmenistan, which has the potential to become a central Asian gas superpower, is intent on establishing a diversified market for its exports.

"Iran will co-operate to develop the Yoloten gas field in Turkmenistan", said Reza Kasaizadeh, the chairman of National Iranian Gas Export Company. "Iran will act as a contractor and the Turkmen side will pay all the expenses for the project."
The oil minister of Iran, Gholam Hossein Nozari, confirmed the deal and told that Iran would be getting 10 bn cm of Turkmen gas under the agreement. This would more than double Iran's current annual imports from the Asian country to 18 bn cm.

The Yoloten field is part of the giant Yoloten-Osman deposit in south-eastern Turkmenistan, which an independent appraisal last autumn by the energy consulting firm Gaffney, Cline & Associates indicated could be the world's fourth or fifth biggest gas reservoir.

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