Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on November 8 that "there are areas of investment for leading companies in Saudi Arabia in Turkmenistan."
"Aramco is looking at any possibility for investment in oil and gas production globally, including countries overlooking the Caspian Sea, and Turkmenistan as I mentioned is among the countries that have the most reserves, especially in gas," Khalid al-Falih told the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television channel naming Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), mining firm Ma'aden and Saudi Aramco as potential investors.
After meeting Turkmen officials, Falih said memoranda of understanding (MOUs) will be signed with Turkmenistan and financing support will be secured from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund.
Saudi Arabia "supports" the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, he added. The project envisages supplying gas from one of the world's largest fields, Galkynysh, with estimated reserves of 13.1tn cm of natural gas, to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan.
Turkmenistan ranks fourth in the world in terms of gas reserves after Iran, Russia and Qatar. The Central Asian nations’s share of global gas output stood at 1.9% in 2016, BP figures show.
Turkmenistan exports most of its gas to China through the Central Asia pipeline. The country exported 29.4bn cm of natural gas to China in 2016 and had aimed to boost gas exports to the Chinese to 65bn cm by 2021, until the construction of the Line-D section of the Central Asia pipeline came to a halt. The second major export destination for Turkmen gas is Iran, but a row at the start of 2017 over an historical debt has caused shipments to the Iranians to come to a halt.
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