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Turkmenistan news roundup

It's been a busy few weeks for the Turkmenistan oil and gas industry, with new drilling lubricant contracts awarded and pipeline work set in motion for the coming months, while the country has now become China's biggest strategic partner in terms of fuel provision.

Here, we take a look at five of the biggest news stories from Turkmenistan's oil and gas sector over the past month.

Turkmenistan now China's biggest strategic partner in gas provision

Turkmenistan is now the biggest strategic partner to China in gas provision, the Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources of Turkmenistan has announced.

The gas pipeline system that links the country with China features three branches, six compressor stations and ten compressor units that have the capacity to transport around 55 billion cubic meters of gas between the two nations each year, making Turkmenistan a key partner in supplying China's fuel provisions. 

Following the construction of the third branch last year, the volume of natural gas transported along the network has increased significantly.

In total, the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline has transported more than 125 billion cubic meters of gas since 2009 - equating to over 35 per cent of the total volume purchased by China - indicating just how much the country relies on Turkmenistan's gas supply.

The Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources of Turkmenistan stated: "This shows the importance of the Trans-Asian gas line in ensuring the energy security of China."

What's more, the ministry revealed that there have been no major issues along the line this year, with both Turkmenistan and China taking equal responsibility for any necessary repair works.

Turkmen president hails potential of Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project

As Turkmenistan begins to explore the possibility of delivering natural gas to Europe, the country's president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has praised the potential of the Trans-Caspian pipeline.

He believes this system could be utilised to connect the nation with Europe, increasing the reach of Turkmenistan's gas supply, while strengthening socio-political relations and international energy links between Asia and the EU.

The president added that he thought the proposed Trans-Caspian gas pipeline would be a very realistic possibility for the European project.

Much hype and media attention has surrounded the line in recent years, with Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan joining in discussions with Turkmenistan and the EU regarding the Trans-Caspian pipeline's potential.

It is hoped that Turkmenistan will be delivering natural gas to the EU by 2019, for which a pipeline measuring 300 km could be laid underneath the Caspian Sea to the coast of Azerbaijan.

The London event also played host to a seminar that covered the legal and tax issues related to the Trans-Caspian project and the export opportunities surrounding it.

Work on TAPI pipeline 'to begin in December'

Turkmenistan is planning to expand its oil and gas operations further, with work set to begin on the new TAPI pipeline - Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India - in December 2015, according to a new report.

Speaking to Reuters, a Turkmen government official explained that production on the long-awaited $10 billion TAPI line should be getting underway before the end of the year, providing that there are no further delays.

Alongside extending the reach of Turkmenistan's oil and gas offerings, the new pipeline will drive job creation, with the official stating: "The Turkmen stretch of the pipeline to the Afghan border will be built by a Turkmen oil and gas pipeline construction firm."

The gas to be transported along the line will be sourced from Turkmenistan's Galkynysh field, which is the world's second-largest reservoir of natural gas.

It is anticipated that the TAPI project will take around three years to complete, but once finished, should last for approximately 30 years. It will reach for 1,735 km in total, with 700 km of the line stretching across Afghanistan.

Graphene Nano wins Turkmenistan drilling lubricant contract

Graphene Nano has been awarded a $384,000 drilling lubricant contract for its PlatQuartZ product by oilfield service firm Scomi Oiltools, which is currently operating in Turkmenistan.

PlatQuartZ is an additive for lubricants that encourages higher temperatures and pressure performances to be triggered in water-based drilling muds. This makes it an ideal substance to assist in the drilling of wells in difficult field conditions, enhancing the rate at which the land can be penetrated.

What's more, PlatQuartZ is relatively environmentally friendly - something that is welcomed in an industry where the carbon footprint is typically large.

The new contract will see Graphene Nano involved in the construction of between eight and ten wells, depending on demand, over the course of three years.

Chief executive of Graphene Nano Jespal Deol commented: "We are excited with this development. The proven field performance of our product in helping the industry to reduce drilling cost is creating good track and positive momentum."

He added that this should lead towards an increase in sales for the firm, alongside expanding its geographical reach.

New tech installations at Turkmenbashi Oil Refineries Complex

New technical equipment that is designed to produce high-octane motor gas is set to be installed at the Turkmenbashi Oil Refineries Complex in a bid to increase the site's production of high-value added oil.

The Turkmenistan State News Agency announced that the installations were commissioned earlier this month and, when completed, will be able to hold approximately two million tonnes of fuel oil.

In addition, they should be able to process some 250,000 tonnes of liquefied gas and around 230,000 tonnes of low-octane light gasoline every year.

Overall, the new equipment is being designed to help refineries better comply with international standards relating to oil and gas production, assisting further in strengthening Turkmenistan's industry offerings.

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