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18.03.04á10:41

AUDIT OF UNDERGROUND RESERVES
CERTIFICATION OF NATURAL GAS RESERVES BEGAN IN SOUTHEAST OF TURKMENISTAN

Turkmenistan has launched certification of "blue fuel" reserves in accordance with a decree "On signing contracts on carrying out the audit of natural gas reserves in the fields of southeastern Turkmenistan" signed by President of state Saparmurat Niyazov in February. According to the Turkmen State News Agency (TSNA) the Ministry of oil and gas industry and natural resources of Turkmenistan has signed contracts with international auditors DeGolyer & MacNaughton of the US and Gaffney, Cline & Associates Ltd from the UK worth over $1,1 mln.

The first field to undergo the audit will be the Dauletabat field, the largest in Turkmenistan. According to the Turkmen oil and gas ministry this field is the one that accounts for the bulk of Turkmenistan's exports flows of gas to Ukraine and Russian. American UNOCAL that intended to build a Trans-Afghan pipeline, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan, carried out an independent audit of this field in 1996. That time the Dauletabat gas field was estimated to contain 1,3 trillion m3 of gas reserves.

Certification of gas reserves is necessitated both by the current development of the Trans-Afghan gas pipeline project and Turkmenistan's existing long term contracts on gas supplies to Russia and Ukraine. As is known, implementation of a 25-year Turkmen-Russian agreement on cooperation in the gas field started this year with Gasprom's gas purchases in the amount of 5 bln m3. It will increase to 70 bln by 2007. In total, Turkmenistan is committed to supply over 1,5 trillion m3 to Russia over the period of agreement - 2004-2028. A 5-year agreement with Ukraine, envisaging the supply of 34-36 bln m3 of gas per year to the Ukrainian market, expires in two years, after which Turkmenistan is going to sign a new long-term agreement with Ukraine.

(Based on the TSNA reports)

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