Avaza, 26 May 2011 (nCa) — The second Gas Congress of Turkmenistan started Wednesday at Avaza, the national tourist zone of Turkmenistan at the Caspian coast. Some key declarations were made on the first day of the 2-day event. They connect with two other developments that took place elsewhere simultaneously.
The British auditor Gaffney, Cline & Associates (GCA) said that Osman-Yoloton field holds substantially more gas reserves than previously estimated.
GCA had certified in 2008 that Osman-Yoloton cluster holds 4 to 14 trillion cubic meters (TCM) of natural gas. The Turkmen authorities later revised the estimates upward to 21 TCM.
Peter Holding, the GCA chief for Russia and Caspian region, said Wednesday, “It appears that the South Iolotan field is now easily the world’s second-largest gas field in terms of gas-in-place.”
He did not quantify the new estimates but experts believe that Turkmen specialists were quite near the mark when they asserted that Osman-Yoloton holds about 21 TCM of reserves.
The GCA announcement erased whatever doubts were still lingering about the gas reserves of Turkmenistan.
The second major development during the Gas Congress was the reiterated commitment in the address of President Berdymuhamedov to supply gas to Europe. —– “Turkmenistan is taking concrete steps to create multiple pipeline systems for reliable, stable and long-term energy supplies to the world markets, including Europe. It is profitable both for exporters and consumers.”
The sentiment was reciprocated by EU. The EU ambassador to Kazakhstan said, “Europe and Turkmenistan are moving to take energy cooperation to a higher level.”
“The export of Turkmen gas to Europe is a goal we share. Our approach is to maximise diversification, to make sure that the risk of total gas cut-offs is avoided,” he added.
The address of Berdymuhamedov also stressed the need for more investments in Osman-Yoloton. This could be a subtle way of hinting that Turkmenistan could be open to proposals for direct or service agreements with foreign companies in its Osman-Yoloton development plans.
While the Gas Congress was taking place at Avaza, an Azeri delegation led by deputy foreign minister Khalaf Khalafov was holding talks at the foreign ministry in Ashgabat. The consultations were aimed at determining the international legal status of Caspian, a crucial element for laying any oil and gas pipelines across the Caspian bed.
As Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan were talking of resolving the status issue of Caspian, the Turkish minister of energy and natural resources, Taner Yildiz, said that Turkey was still awaiting a ‘concrete response’ from Azerbaijan on its participation in Nabucco. He lamented the fact that Nabucco project would be signed in Turkey on 6 June 2011 by OMV (Austria), BOTAS (Turkey), Bulgargaz (Bulgaria), Transgaz (Romania), Mol Natural Gas (Hungary) and RWE (Germany) but Azerbaijan was still dragging its feet.
He warned that if Azerbaijan fails to make up its mind, Turkey could turn oto Turkmenistan, Iraq and Iran, implying that Nabucco could use the Iranian route for taking Central Asian gas supplies to Europe if Azerbaijan keeps dilly dallying with the question.
It appears from the statementn of Yildiz that the bottleneck is Azerbaijan, not Turkmenistan.
The Gas Congress and its accompanying exhibition has attracted some 500 delegates from 160 companies and international organizations from 31 countries.
The delegations with ministerial or head of department level participation include USA, Russia, UAE, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Korea.
Top officials of EU and Energy Charter are also present.
The multinationals in the congress include Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, Baker Hughes, Honeywell (USA), Shell (Netherlands-UK), OMV (Austria), RWE (Germany), BP, Gaffney, Cline & Associates ( UK), SOKAR (Azerbaijan Republic), GAIL (India), BOTAS (Turkey), Petronas (Malaysia), Gulf Oil & Gas (UAE), CNPC (China), and Total (France).
The gas congress has been organized by the British company Summit Trade Events, a traditional partner of Turkmenistan for arranging oil and gas events.