Turkmenistan opens gas pipeline to boost exports to Russia
Turkmenistan has opened a pipeline connecting its gas reserves in the Karakum desert to the main Russia-bound pipeline, which will help boost exports, officials said Sunday.
Up to three billion cubic metres (105 billion cubic feet) of gas per year will be transported via the pipeline, a source in the Turkmenistan ministry of mineral resources told AFP.
This could rise to five billion cubic metres in the future.
The nearly 200-kilometre-long (124-mile) pipeline leads from the gas deposits to a compressor station feeding the Central Asia-Centre pipeline that runs to Russia through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, the Turkmen State Information Service said on its website.
Russia has long been the main buyer of Turkmenistan's natural gas, but the country has also begun building pipelines to China and Iran. Turkmen gas is also key for the EU-backed Nabucco project.
© 2010 AFP