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Summary | Profile

Country profile: Turkmenistan

Location: Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Climate: subtropical desert
Terrain: flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in west
Size: 488100 sq. km total (Land area: 488100 sq. km )
Population: 5,179,571 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Turkmen 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
Government: republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch
Capital city: Ashgabat (Ashkhabad)
Legal system: based on civil law system and Islamic law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: Turkmen manat (TMM)
Licensing:

Country profile

Central Asia is loosely defined as including the countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan. The energy sectors of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are covered briefly in the Caspian Sea Region Brief, but this report discusses these two countries’ growing energy sectors in greater detail. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan sit on large reserves of oil and natural gas, yet both countries face a myriad of challenges in bringing those reserves to world markets. Both countries are geographically far from the end-use markets they serve and lack sufficient pipeline infrastructure to export more hydrocarbons. Also, other hydrocarbon-rich Central Asian and Caspian states with more favorable investment climates and greater access to markets pose competition for Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Both countries are eager to diversify export routes for their resources outside of the Russian-controlled pipelines, but each must seek to obtain capital, technical assistance, and political support for alternative pipelines. The most recent political shift in the region, the death of former President Saparmurat Niyazov (also referred to as Turkmenbashi) in December 2006 and the election of Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in early 2007 have sparked new interest and hope for a stable environment for foreign investors in Turkmenistan’s oil and gas sector. Turkmenistan’s new leadership is renewing diplomatic relations with Russia, China, Europe, the US, and other Central Asian neighbors after 15 years of isolation. Foreign energy firms experienced extreme political challenges and investment impasses during Niyazov’s era, and several exited the country leaving a dearth of investment. Since Berdymukhammedov became president, there have been modest signs of a more business-friendly environment, and international competition for Turkmenistan’s hydrocarbon industry has intensified.

Energy production and consumption


Oil Gas
Production: 196,000 bbl/day (2007 est.) 72 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Consumption: 156,000 bbl/day (2007 est.) 14 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Exports: 40,000 bbl/day (2007 est.) 58 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Imports:    
Reserves: 500 million bbl (1 January 2007 est.) 2 trillion cu m (1 January 2007 est.)
Major fields:



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