Ashgabat, 1 June 2011 (nCa) — The Turkmen oil and gas minister, Bairamgeldy Nedirov, addressed Tuesday a press conference attended by the foreign journalists accredited in Turkmenistan.
After some brief remarks, he took a few questions from the journalists.
The foreign office spokesman said that such media encounters with top officials would be arranged on regular basis.
Here is the transcript of Nedirov press conference (translated from Russian):
Nedirov: I will speak today about the state and prospects of development of the oil and gas sector of Turkmenistan and about the international aspects of the oil and gas complex. I reported the main points at the recently held second Gas Congress at the national tourist zone Avaza.
As you know, Turkmenistan is a country rich in hydrocarbon resources. The hydrocarbon potential of Turkmenistan is 45.44 billion tons of fuel equivalent. It includes 24.06 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves. However, in connection with the opening and proving of new reserves, proved not only by our own experts but also by GCA [Gaffney, Cline & Associates], the company says that the proven reserves of Osman-Yoloton are 21 trillion cubic meteres.
These volumes allow us to re-estimate our potential, as compared to the earlier mentioned data of 45.44 [billion tons]. Our hydrocarbons are located not only on mainland but also in the Turkmen sector of Caspian.
In accordance with the national programme for development of the oil and gas sector by 2030, we are planning to increase the oil output to 67 million tons and gas production to 230 billion cubic meters, of which 180 billion cubic meters would be exported.
Our present hydrocarbon potential allows us to meet securely our contractual obligations and to fulfill reliably the long term obligations according to the projected gas pipelines.
At present we export gas to Russia, China and Iran. In prospect we are working actively on TAPI [Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project]. In the nearest time we expect the signing of the sale and purchase agreement. Then we will continue with the scheduled work on TAPI.
Regarding the export of the Turkmen gas in the European direction, as you know, at present Turkmenistan and EU are in negotiations on export of Turkmen gas to Europe.
Recently we organized an international conference with participation of different countries and major oil and gas companies, devoted to ecological aspects of the Trans-Caspian pipelines. Delegates from Azerbaijan also participated in the conference.
We have prospective and reliable source base and thanks to the wise policy of our president we will continue the work on diversification of our hydrocarbon potential. We will provide with gas not only to the population and industry of Turkmenistan but will also export the gas in accordance with our diversification principle.
Reuters: [Question about volumes of gas exported last year, and expected volumes of export this year]
Nedirov: Last year we exported more than 10 billion cubic meters, and this year it will not be less than last year, if the Russian side is ready to increase the volumes. We have enough resources and transport facilities to increase the volume to the earlier level.
Reuters: Is it the total export? Or just to Russia?
Nedirov: Just to Russia.
Retuers: Can you give some indicators on the total export volumes?
Nedirov: I have no data with me.
AFP: There is some information that during the visit of President Aliyev of Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan the signing of documents related to Trans-Caspian pipeline is expected. What are your comments?
Nedirov: I have no information about signing of such documents.
nCa: [Question about price formula for TAPI, and any progress on formation of consortium for TAPI]
Nedirov: About the progress on the implementation of TAPI, I can say that the technical working groups are meeting regularly. At present time the sides are finalizing the issues related to the signing of the sale and purchase agreement. The sides are discussing the pricing issues. We hope that in the nearest time they will agree on concrete prices; it will be known before the signing of the sale and purchase agreement. The sides are close to that. At present time the member countries are holding the meeting of the technical working groups in Manila.
RIAN: [Question on whether Turkmenistan is able to export the volumes to Russia that went before the crisis]
Nedirov: If the Russian side asks for increase of export volume, we also have the desire and possibility, the gas volumes and the pipelines.
AP: [Question about audit of gas reserves and pricing for TAPI]
Nedirov: GCA, together with Turkmengeologiya, has thoroughly studied the material and in the nearest future they will sum up the audit results. Now they have asked for some additional material for clarification. We hope that in the nearest future they will announce the results. The preliminary results were announced at the Gas Congress in Avaza.
About the pricing formula for TAPI, it is a subject of negotiations. The price will be known before the signing of the sale and purchase agreement, in the nearest future.