Così Eni e il Cav. si avvicinano al tesoro energetico dell’Asia

La politica delle pacche sulle spalle frutta un’intesa petrolifera con il Turkmenistan. Soltanto i cinesi ci erano riusciti

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Turkmenistan Tips Its Hand On Future Energy Exports

Turkmenistan Tips Its Hand On Future Energy Exports |


Italy Gets A Foot In The Door

The most sensational news may have been Berdymukhammedov’s instructions for a new production-sharing agreement to be worked out that would allow a foreign company in on the development of the Nebit-Dag oil and gas field in western Turkmenistan.

Upon inking the deal, the Italian company Eni would become only the second foreign company -- after the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) -- to have an onshore contract in Turkmenistan.

It is not unheard of for Turkmenistan to work with foreign entities on the development of offshore resources, but for Western companies, securing such contracts has traditionally been difficult.

Discussing the development of Turkmenistan's Caspian shelf, Berdymukhammedov indicated a willingness to loosen things up, saying bids from the U.S. companies Chevron, TX Oil, and ConocoPhilips, as well as the United Arab Emirate's Mudabala, were being considered.

Berdymukhammedov also made clear that in terms of export routes, Turkmenistan was looking south.

Officials were instructed to "take all necessary measures" to ensure that arrangements for gas to be sold via the proposed TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline will be worked out by the end of the year. Those plans would have to overcome the instability in Afghanistan that has thwarted the TAPI project for the past 15 years, however.

The need to boost gas supplies to Iran was also mentioned, although Berdymukhammedov did not specify if he was talking about new gas exports or fulfillment of existing contracts.

The biggest consumer of Turkmen gas to the east -- China -- was by no means forgotten.

The Turkmen president named China, already contracted to purchase some 40 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually, as his preferred source for a $4.18 billion loan that would allow for the development of the country's largest gas field, South Yolotan. With estimated reserves of 4 trillion-14 trillion cubic meters, South Yolotan could potentially meet the European Union's gas needs for more than 20 years.

The Turkmen government has yet to say who, if anyone, it would involve in developing the field or which direction the gas would flow, but China would appear to have the inside track.

China provided Turkmenistan with a $3 billion loan last year for developing South Yolotan, and the provision of another $4 billion for the completion of the project's first stage would put China in an enviable position when the time comes for Ashgabat to decide on consumers and partners for the project.