Turkmenistan-China strategic partnership enters new stage

Sep 28, 2015 12:00 AM

By Vusala Abbasova

Turkmenistan has entered a new stage of strategic partnership with China by becoming its main gas supplier, according to the Turkmen Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources.

Turkmenistan had supplied more than 125 billion cubic meters of gas as of August of 2015 through the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline, also known as the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline.

This is more than 35 percent of the total volume of Chinese natural gas purchased by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) after the commissioning of the first two, A and B, segments of the gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

The third, C branch was commissioned in 2014 and also runs this route, significantly increasing the volume of natural gas supplies.

Currently, work is underway to construct the D branch on a new route through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Beijing has a long-term agreement with Turkmenistan to increase deliveries to 65 billion cubic meters of gas per year by 2020.

The overall capacity of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline, which started operating at the end of 2009, has hits 55 billion cubic meters per annum.

Seven years ago, the CNPC received a license to explore and produce hydrocarbons on the Bagtyyarlyk contract territory in Turkmenistan’s Lebap province.

Reportedly, six compressor stations and 10 compressor units operate along the pipeline route.

CNPC hopes to receive gas via this route in 2015-2016. The supply volume will comply with contract obligations from the Chinese side.

Recently, Ashgabat hosted the 13th meeting of the Coordination Committee on operation of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China pipeline, where the sides discussed the transit of natural gas and the installation of the Trans-Asia pipeline system in 2015-2016.

Such initiatives clearly demonstrate that the high-level strategic partnership and cooperation between the two countries continue to progress, mainly in the economic sphere.

Having the world's fourth largest natural gas reserves after Russia, Iran, and Qatar, and producing about 70-80 billion cubic meters of gas a year, Turkmenistan is one of the key players in the energy market in the resource-rich Caspian region.

Currently, Turkmenistan exports oil and gas to more than 40 countries, including Turkey, China, Russia, UAE, Iran, Germany, U.S., UK, Ukraine, Switzerland.

Furthermore, the country plans to construct the world's largest gas-chemical complex in the Derveze district of Turkmenistan's Akhal province.

The complex will recycle 1.782 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually and produce 600,000 tons of A-92 brand gasoline, which will meet the ecological requirements of the Euro-5 standard.

Turkmenistan's State Concern Turkmengaz jointly with a consortium created by the Japanese Kawasaki Company and Turkish Rönesans Holding plans to commission the facility in 2018.

The country hopes to bring its oil refining industry capacity to 15 million tons of oil per year in 2015, up to 20 million tons in 2020, up to 22 million tons in 2025, and up to 30 million tons in 2030.

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In the period of July 20 till August 3, 2015, Alexander will be out of the office and the site will not or only irreg

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