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ASHGABAT, February 28 (Itar-Tass) — President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said in an interview with the Turkish media that “Turkmenistan guarantees the supply of natural gas on any of the possible export routes the implementation of which will play a role in creating a reliable global energy security system.” The interview was published on Tuesday in connection with Berdymukhamedov’s first foreign visit after the country’s February 12, 2012 presidential election. On Tuesday the head of Turkmenistan is departing for Turkey, his visit will last until March 1.
According to the president, “Turkmenistan, considers probable variants of export gas pipelines, primarily proceeds from the economic feasibility of projects, their environmental safety, as well as presence of principled agreements with transit countries and consumer countries.” At present, he said, “the works on the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline are being effectively carried out. Possible variants of natural gas supplies to Europe are studied. In connection with the start of production of natural gas on Turkmenistan’s Caspian shelf the existing gas pipeline’s infrastructure in the northern direction is undergoing modernisation.”
Explaining plans to increase gas exports, the president said that “last year, an authoritative international company - Gaffney, Cline & Associates (UK), conducted an independent audit of the reserves of the Galkynysh field (South Yoloten-Osman, Minara and Yashlar) and declared that the reserves of this unique field are estimated at 26.2 trillion cubic metres of gas, that is, the world’s second largest.”
“Having this major resource base, we started building a second branch of the gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China,” Berdymukhamedov said. “Under the bilateral agreements with China concluded last year, it is planned to increase deliveries of Turkmen gas to China up to 65 billion cubic meters annually,” the president said.
“Despite the high profitability of fuel and energy projects, we are not going to live only by the country’s natural resources,” the Turkmen president said. “Over the past few years, we have achieved a balanced development of all sectors of the national economy, at the same time continuing to make rational use our richest hydrocarbons resources,” Berdymukhamedov concluded.
Ashgabat at present time exports natural gas to Russia, China and Iran. Turkmenistan’s total volume of exports to these countries in 2011 amounted to some 40 billion cubic meters.