October 26th is the official opening day of the OGT 2022 Conference and Expo, which will run for three days through October 28th, 2022.
At a time when every part of the world is affected by climate change, the subject of efficient energy use and transition to cleaner sources of energy is ever more important. The OGT 2022 is devoted to exactly this subject: to strengthen the regional dialogue on further sustainable development of the energy sector and expand opportunities for attracting foreign direct investment to the oil and gas industry of Turkmenistan.
To achieve the goal of the sustainable development of the energy sector, industry leaders and experts need to be well-informed about the new and more fuel-efficient methods of oil and gas production. They need a platform to share their experiences and expertise with national and international fellows – a need that is availed by the OGT 2022 Conference and Expo.
Similarly, attracting foreign direct investment to the oil and gas industry of Turkmenistan is meant to diversify not only the distribution of the produced oil and gas but also to apply innovative methods of production in the oil and gas sector. The participation and business meetings on the sidelines of the conference will give a chance to potential investors to pitch their proposals for diverse projects in the oil and gas industry, chemical gas utilization, optimization of mature fields, and development of offshore blocks in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea.
Even though the dialog on sustainable development of the energy sector and attracting foreign direct investment are direct goals of the OGT 2022, the agenda of the Conference is not indifferent to the pressing global issue of climate change. Hence, four out of six sessions are wholly dedicated to the future of energy. While the plenary session will discuss the challenges and opportunities in the future of energy, the last three sessions will be wholly dedicated to exchanging ideas and experiences on such topics as “New Era Energy: renewables and hydrogen; environmental aspects of hydrocarbon development; and innovative technologies and know-how in oil and gas science and education.
Last November, in his speech at the 26th session of the UN Climate Conference the President of Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdimuhamedov, noted that “Turkmenistan welcomes the Global Methane Commitment Initiative ….”[i]
Less than a year later, in October the OGT 2022 and its preceding counterpart International Scientific Conference: “Environmental aspects in the production of hydrocarbon resources” in June 2022 substantiate that commitment. Hence, the main speakers on the agenda of the OGT 2022 are key decision-makers such as Mr. Dmitri Shlapachenko, UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan and world-recognized experts in methane reduction as Ms. Olga Gassan-zade of Carbon Limits. For instance, along the lines of these two conferences “an initiation study” was conducted between the experts in Norway and Turkmenistan “to identify opportunities for knowledge transfer and capacity building activities.”[ii]
The high-level international oil and gas conference has been taking place in Turkmenistan since the late 1990s. The OGT 2022 will be the 27th one. This year it will be accompanied by an Expo of innovative technologies and services of international and national oil and gas companies. Both the Conference and Expo garnered a high-level interest from senior government officials, diplomatic missions, industry leaders, and experts in the oil and gas sector.
Around 40 representatives from more than 30 media entities will participate in the OGT 2022 to report on its progress to audiences not only in Turkmenistan but all over the world. The impressive list of media representatives includes writers and editors of global oil and gas analytics such as Argus Media, S&P Global Commodity Insights, Natural Gas World, China Daily, Interfax, Tass News Agency, and Belorussian News Agency. Till the start of the OGT 2022, dozens of news snippets were published to spread the message of the OGT 2022 to audiences beyond Turkmenistan. For instance, widely read news sites such as China Daily, Natural Gas World[iii], and Central Asia News[iv] have posted the press release of the Conference so that people who will not be able to attend the OGT will still be able to learn about its mission and progress.
For the OGT 2022, the organizing committee has arranged round-trip charter flights in the Dubai-Ashgabat-Dubai route to help more than 100 delegates come to Ashgabat at a time when international travel is barely recovering from the Covid-19 break. More than 500 foreign and local delegates of international organizations, diplomatic missions, and international and national companies residing in Turkmenistan will also attend both the Conference and Expo. The delegates represent more than 200 companies from 45 countries. Of those who could not join the OGT 2022 in person, around 100 are expected to tune in online via the Zoom link. In addition, more than 50 energy companies will be represented at the Expo.
In his address at an event analogous to the OGT 2022 – World Gas Conference 2022 in Daegu, Korea – Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the former UN Secretary-General cautioned that “time was running out to address greenhouse emissions” while emphasizing “that natural gas could help drive down greenhouse gas emissions … when coupled with carbon capture and storage [making it] an even cleaner energy source.”[v]
The oil and gas industry is like a double-edged sword, how we produce and use them can have either mitigating or deteriorating effects on the environment. So for the following three days, the OGT 2022 will promote the efficient production and consumption of oil and gas by giving a platform to experts, decision-makers, and industry leaders to present and exchange their ideas, expertise, and experience.
///nCa, 25 October 2022 (in cooperation with Turkmen Forum), nCa is a media partner of OGT 2022.