Production of natural gas in Turkmenistan fell to 66.8bn cubic metres (cm) in 2016, registering an annual decline of 4.3%, according to data from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2017. It marked the first time in seven years that the country had to cut gas output.
The fall is possibly partially tied to lower revenue flows available from Turkmenistan’s hydrocarbons sector with the natural gas-rich country having suffered from low oil prices that impact on the monetary value of both its gas and oil exports.
Turkmenistan's exports of hydrocarbons decreased to 37.3bn cm in 2016, down from 38.1bn cm.
Another reason for the decline in production stems from Russian gas company Gazprom’s decision at the beginning of 2016 to stop importing Turkmen gas.
Turkmenistan’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 this year over an historical debt has caused shipments to the Iranians to come to a halt.
Turkmenistan, meanwhile, is constructing the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline. 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.