Turkmenistan gets more gas

on May 23, 2017 at 1:13 PM

Last Saturday the central Asian nation of Turkmenistan disclosed it’s discovery of what experts within the country believe to be a very sizable natural gas field almost adjacent to its coast with the Caspian Sea. This discovery is very well timed for the former Soviet republic which is currently discussing the possibility, with the European Union, of building a pipeline under the Caspian Sea. This pipeline could potentially link Turkmenistan’s gas fields with lucrative European markets.

Fracking In California Under Spotlight As Some Local Municipalities Issue Bans

While the new field is near the Caspian Sea according to the state news agency TDH the site is located onshore in the Uzunada area buried four miles under ground. TDH further reported a test well on this site has performed well, producing 500,000 cubic meters of gas and 150 tonnes of condensate per day.

This discovery could reinvigorate the economy of Turkmenistan which is largely reliant upon gas exports as it’s source of foreign currency. Turkmenistan has an abundance of natural gas reserves including the world’s second largest gas field, the Galkynysh located near Ỷolőten in eastern Turkmenistan.

However, in recent years the country has faced foreign currency shortages, after Russia which had been one of Turkmenistan’s largest customers stopped purchasing natural gas last year. Further Turkmenistan stopped selling to Iran earlier this year amid payment disputes. This left China as the main foreign purchaser of Turkmenistan’s natural gas. To combat this difficulty in the future, Turkmenistan is trying to widen it’s customer base and export to a larger number of countries.

To that end, in addition to being in talks with the EU to supply gas to Europe via the proposed Trans-Caspian pipeline, the Ashgabat government is also in talks to supply the massive markets of India and Pakistan to the south. This would require the construction of a pipeline through Afghanistan, a project which would require a substantial investment in infrastructure, as well as resources devoted to resolving security issues.