STABLE FOCUS ON PARTNERSHIP
The XXIII International Exhibition and Conference "Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan-2018" (OGT-2018) in Ashgabat once again proved foreign companies' interest in developing partnerships with the enterprises of the fuel and energy sector of Turkmenistan. This year, the oil and gas forum was organized by State Concern Turkmenneft jointly with the French Cifal Industrial Services and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan.
About 50 companies from more than 30 countries presented their potential at the exhibition, including the long-standing foreign partners of Turkmenistan, such as Dragon Oil, Petronas, Hyundai Engineering Co. Ltd., LG, Total, Tatneft and others, as well as new companies interested in establishing cooperation. The Turkmen side was represented by State Concerns Turkmengaz and Turkmenneft, State Corporation Turkmengeology, the Turkmenbashi complex of oil refineries, as well as a number of private companies that demonstrated their achievements in the fuel and energy sector.
A great number of equipment and services were presented at the exhibition pavilions, including those for exploration, extraction and transportation of hydrocarbons, implementation of projects both onshore and offshore in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea, modernization of existing and construction of new pipelines, increasing oil and gas processing capacities etc.
According to experts, the oil and gas forum provided the leading manufacturers from Europe, Asia and America with the opportunity to present high-tech equipment, establish direct trade relations and address marketing issues.
The international conference was held as part of the forum. It brought together delegates from the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the CIS. Among them were oil and gas industry specialists, representatives of manufacturing plants, academia. In total, the conference saw the participation of about 500 delegates from 200 international and governmental organizations, foreign companies, the mass media and diplomatic missions from more than 40 countries.
The conference participants noted that the oil and gas industry serves as a locomotive of the national economy. State Concerns Turkmenneft and Turkmengaz play a special role in addressing the tasks outlined by the state strategy in the fuel and energy sector on achievement of energy security. Their operations range from prospecting and exploration of fields to extraction and transportation of oil and gas. In this regard, recommendations were made to further enhance international cooperation in the oil and gas sector.
A session on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project was particularly interesting to the conference participants. They reviewed the key data on the pace of implementation, sponsors, political and social importance of the project. It was stressed that the TAPI gas pipeline, providing Afghanistan, Pakistan and India with natural gas, will promote industrialization and attract new investment in these countries.
Representatives of companies that produce hydrocarbons in Turkmenistan also stressed the importance of the TAPI project. For example, General Director of PETRONAS Carigali (Turkmenistan) Teh Yat Hong noted: "Turkmenistan ranks fourth in the world in terms of gas reserves, and this fact is well known. It is obvious that the government should monetize these reserves, and the TAPI project is one of the ways to achieve this goal. Therefore, utmost effort should be exerted to promote and implement this project. This ambitious project is of great strategic importance for Turkmenistan. We are closely following the progress of the project."
Noting that the TAPI project is an important component of the state energy strategy, the representative of PETRONAS Carigali said that "the Trans-Caspian pipeline can also become such component in the future. There is a huge gas market in Europe, and diversification of Turkmenistan's energy policy through gas pipelines is a very promising strategy."
Given that natural gas extraction makes about 70 percent of PETRONAS Carigali's total hydrocarbon output in Turkmenistan, it is understandable that the company has a keen interest in these pipeline projects that it can join for the mutual benefit.
General Manager of Dragon Oil Mohammed Abdullah al-Raisi shared his view of the impact of the TAPI project on the diversification of his company's business: "In the past, we focused mainly on oil production, but since we now have the TAPI project we have been working both on the extraction and refining of associated gas. We are looking forward to implementing the TAPI project in view of the fact that putting it into operation will also benefit our projects."
The forum participants also spoke about development of gas processing facilities for production of high-quality export-oriented products in Turkmenistan. In October 2018, a gas chemical complex for production of polyethylene and polypropylene was put into operation in the village of Kiyanly in Balkan province. In addition, plants for production of urea and potash fertilizers were launched, and construction of a plant for production of liquid fuel from natural gas nears completion. In the coming years, Turkmenistan plans to implement several more projects aimed at further increasing the range of gas-chemical products that are in demand in the market. All this presents new opportunities for foreign companies in terms of making mutually beneficial contracts.
The conference also discussed the investment climate in the oil and gas industry of Turkmenistan, development of innovative technologies for prospecting and production of hydrocarbons, modernization of the oil refining industry, production of environmentally friendly fuels and prospects of development of a green economy.
At present, there are hundreds of millions of tons of explored oil reserves and trillions of cubic meters of explored natural gas reserves in the country, which is sufficient to meet the domestic demand and ensure long-term exports of these raw materials. About 200 fields have been discovered in the territory of Turkmenistan, hundreds of prospective oil and gas structures have been prepared for deep drilling.
According to experts, promising fields in Turkmenistan open up great opportunities for new investments and mutually beneficial international cooperation. In this regard, representatives of leading foreign companies confirmed their willingness to provide Turkmen partners with advanced, highly efficient technologies for exploration and development of hard-to-reach onshore deposits and those in the Caspian Sea.
Top managers of foreign companies and enterprises of the oil and gas sector of Turkmenistan held business talks at the conference. They discussed topical aspects of cooperation and specified new projects and areas of interaction.
The forum's foreign participants included representatives of the oil business of the Russian Federation who have long been present in the Turkmen market's fuel and energy sector and intend to increase their operations. For example, at the exhibition, Tatneft demonstrated its servicing and engineering technologies in the area of increasing the efficiency of field development, as well as efficient oil production technologies. At the conference, TatNIPIneft presented PJSC TATNEFT's original equipment for repair of wells.
The United Engine Corporation (UEC), which is part of Rostekh State Corporation, also presented its technologies for gas-turbine plants and units for gas transportation and power generation. As part of the conference, representatives of the UEC discussed prospects of cooperation with State Concerns Turkmengaz and Turkmenneft and presented their products.
"Turkmenistan with its huge hydrocarbon reserves is one of the largest energy exporters in the world, said Deputy General Director, Head of the Energy and Industrial Programs Division of JSC UEC Sergey Mikhailov in the company's press release. Large-scale infrastructure projects are being successfully implemented in the oil and gas industry of Turkmenistan. Therefore, the market of Turkmenistan is one of the most attractive for UEC in terms of promoting industrial gas turbine equipment."
"We have been operating for a long time in Turkmenistan. Russian engines for gas transportation and power generation have been in operation at a number of facilities, Sergey Mikhailov said. That is why we expect that our participation in the forum will contribute to strengthening UEC positions in Turkmenistan and help us make new agreements and contracts."