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Turkmenistan, UAE Forge Partnership in Energy, Transport

By Aygerim Sarymbetova January 11, 2024

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The National Leader of the Turkmen people and Chairman of the Turkmen People's Council Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow met with the President of the UAE Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan during his working visit to Turkmenistan, on January 4-5, 2024. / Turkmen Portal

Chairman of the People's Council of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow has offered the United Arab Emirates companies to participate in the development of Turkmen gas fields and the construction of export gas pipelines.

On the first day of the working visit to the UAE on January 4, Turkmenistan’s former president Berdimuhamedow, whose official title is "National Leader of the Turkmen people", held talks with the President of the UAE Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Turkmen Portal reported.

The parties discussed the avenues to enhance bilateral relations and mutually beneficial cooperation in energy, transport and communications, industrial and agricultural complexes, and high technologies.

On January 5, on the final day of the working visit, a meeting was held between Berdimuhamedow and the Chairman of the UAE-UK company Dragon Oil, Syed Al Tayer.

During the talks, the sides discussed possibilities of building a long-term successful cooperation for the further development of the domestic fuel and energy complex, by taking into account the accumulated solid experience of joint work in this field. 

A memorandum of understanding was also signed between Turkmennebit Oil and Dragon Oil on increasing production with three new fields within Turkmenistan's Block 19 offshore area.

Earlier, Dragon Oil conducted a seismic survey in the three fields at a cost of $35 million, the results of which were “promising”. The fields are close to the Cheleken Contract Area, which is an oil-producing field in the Caspian Sea.

Dragon Oil, an independent international oil and gas exploration, development and production enterprise based in Dubai, is the only non-Turkmen enterprise pumping Turkmen oil.

In addition, State Concern Turkmengaz and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed a memorandum of understanding on the intention of the strategic partners to develop the third stage of the world's second-largest natural gas field – Galkynysh.

The MoU also seeks to explore the potential opportunities for scientific, technical and economic, mutually beneficial cooperation to reduce methane emissions

"The document envisages further expanding bilateral relations in the energy sphere. It reflects the intention of Turkmenistan and the UAE to attract investment partners to develop the supergiant Galkynysh field and their possible participation in the construction of gas pipeline infrastructure designed to diversify export gas supplies," Orient.tm noted.

Annual gas production in Turkmenistan is over 80 billion cubic meters. Turkmenistan’s major exports go to China, and annual gas exports are estimated to be about 40 billion cubic meters.

In late November, Turkmen President Serdar Berdimuhamedow paid an official visit to the UAE and met with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, holding high-level bilateral talks in an expanded format, with the participation of delegations from both countries.

The two sides stressed the importance of intensifying trade and economic ties in oil refining, gas chemical industry and transport.

The Turkmen president stressed the relevance of establishing contacts with the International Port of Abu Dhabi to join the International Seaport of Turkmenbashi to the system of seaports of the world.

A proposal was also made to create a joint bank and open its representative office in both countries.

The parties also adopted a joint statement that highlighted issues related to the implementation of the bilateral agreements, aimed at the optimal realisation of the potential of the Turkmen-Emirati cooperation.

In the past years, the UAE participated in the implementation of different projects in Turkmenistan. The Abu Dhabi Investment Fund has played a key role to develop and implement projects in Turkmenistan.

Among them is the construction of the International Airport in Jebel and the first solar-wind power plant in Turkmenistan. The power plant will generate clean energy, providing reliable and uninterrupted power supply to consumers in the settlements around the Altyn Asyr Turkmen Lake in the Central Karakum Desert.