As Vagit Alekperov noted during the meeting, LUKOIL has strategic interests in Turkmenistan, which has significant hydrocarbon reserves. In turn, the President of Turkmenistan noted the prospects for cooperation with LUKOIL in the framework of an interstate dialogue with the Russian Federation.
Turkmenistan today is Central Asia’s 3rd-largest economy, behind Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. While agricultural exports comprise a sizeable portion of its economy, 25 % of the country’s GDP is primarily derived from hydrocarbons, particularly natural gas – the bulk of which goes to China.
Turkmenistan exports its gas to China via the 2,000 km Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline system, which stretches along Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Beijing invested heavily in the project financing gas field development in Turkmenistan.
In addition, Ashgabat makes use of the Soviet-era network passing through the territories of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, to send its gas to Russia. Gazprom, the route consists of 2,000 km of pipes, with a capacity of about 90 billion cu m (bcm) per year.