Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (AFP) April 26, 2011
Energy hungry China has given Turkmenistan a loan of $4.1 billion (three billion euros) to develop a gas field and boost exports, the state gas company Turkmengaz said Tuesday.
"The China Development Bank has given Turkmenistan a credit of 4.1 billion dollars," Turkmengaz chief executive officer Amanaly Khanalyev said at a ceremony to sign the loan agreement.
The money would be used "to develop the country's biggest gas field, Ioujno-Elotenshoie, and to increase the export potential of Turkmengaz," added a company official, Achir Aliev.
The gas field, located in the east of the former Soviet republic believed to hold the world's fourth-largest reserves of natural gas, contains some 21,000 billion cubic metres of the commodity.
Turkmengaz, the China Development Bank and PetroChina have also signed a deal to "guarantee deliveries of Turkmen gas to China", Aliev said.
Turkmenistan, an isolated but resource-rich Central Asian state on the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea, is trying to move away from its reliance on Soviet-era pipelines through Russia since its own exports ground to a halt and soured ties with the Kremlin after a pipeline explosion in 2009.
In September last year, Turkmen fields were estimated to hold 18 trillion cubic metres of gas.
China, a major energy consumer, is looking for new sources and in 2009 also gave Turkmengaz a credit of four billion dollars.
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Outside View: Gas prices and blame game
College Park, Md. (UPI) Apr 26, 2011
When gas prices spike, owing to Middle East turmoil or hurricanes, conspiracy theories abound about profiteering speculators. The truth is Americans are suffering from bad energy polices - politicians eager to sell pet projects and foist blame onto others. In such a fit, U.S. President Barack Obama offers fanciful alternative energy technologies as a solution to rising pump prices and ... read more
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