Country Listing

Turkmenistan Table of Contents



The interstate pipeline system retained its value at the time of independence and is a priority of the republic's economic development plans. The government has pursued international projects to build gas pipelines through Iran to Turkey, through Afghanistan to Pakistan, and through Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China to Japan.

Despite Russia's opposition and United States pressure not to do so, in August 1994, President Niyazov signed an agreement with Iran to begin the Turkmenistan-Iran-Turkey-Europe gas pipeline. The pipeline will extend 4,000 kilometers through Iran, Turkey, and Bulgaria, with an initial capacity of 15 billion cubic meters annually, later to be expanded to 28 billion cubic meters. The project will cost US$8 billion, of which Iran will finance US$3.5 billion, and construction will begin in 1998.

After a Japanese delegation held talks in Ashgabat in 1992, the Mitsubishi corporation developed plans to build a 6,700-kilometer gas pipeline through Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, and China to the Yellow Sea coast opposite Japan, where a natural gas liquefaction plant will be built to convert the gas prior to shipment. The plan calls for constructing a pipeline with a capacity of 30 billion cubic meters annually at a cost of US$12 billion. Turkmenistan, Kazakstan, and Uzbekistan also have petitioned the Russian Federation to help them build a new 725-kilometer gas pipeline through Russia and Ukraine for exporting natural gas to Ukraine and Europe.

Of the two main existing lines, the Shatlik-Khiva line running south-north from near Saragt to Khiva connects with a pipeline from the Uzbekistan gas field near Bukhoro. Intersecting this line is the Mary-Ashgabat line running east-west from near Mary to Ashgabat. The other main line is the Central Asia-Center line running north from Okarem to Nebitdag, northwest to the Garabogaz Gulf on the Caspian Sea, and connecting with the main line to Europe through Ukraine.

Data as of March 1996