CHINA IN THE OIL AND GAS BRANCH OF TURKMENISTAN

Vladimir PARAMONOV, Alexei STROKOV


Vladimir Paramonov, Founder and Director of the Central Eurasia Analytical Project [www.ceasia.ru] (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)

Alexei Strokov, Member of the Expert Council of the Central Eurasia Analytical Project (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)


ABSTRACT

In the 1990s, China showed practically no interest in Turkmen oil and gas. It developed this interest in the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century and has been widening it ever since. In three years (2006-2009), Beijing built up its presence in Turkmenistan and, after the agreements of September 2013, became an uncontested leader in the Turkmen oil and gas industry.

Keywords: China, Turkmenistan, Xi Jinping, oil and gas industry, CNPC, the South Iolotan gas fields, Osman, Yashlar and Minara, the Galkynysh project, the Bagtiyarlyk territory, Turkmengaz State Concern, Gazprom, the Seydi Refinery, the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline, the TAPI gas pipeline, the Nabucco gas pipeline.

Introduction

Until the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century, China and Chinese companies displayed no interest in Turkmenistan, its energy sector, or its oil and gas, despite Chinas rapidly increasing demand for energy resources and the fact that the two countries established diplomatic relations on 6 January, 1992 (immediately after the Soviet Unions demise). This was largely explained by the distances separating the two countries and the poorly developed transportation infrastructure.

This also explains the poorly developed bilateral trade which, until 2006, remained practically unnoticed in the tiny volume of the Turkmen economy. Indeed, between 1992 and 2006, the volume of


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