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Wednesday, 9 November 2005
Important Information about Caspian Sector of Turkmenistan
Topic: Economy & business
Ashgabat, 9 November 2005 (nCa) --- During the Oil and Gas Turkmenistan conference Wednesday, Khushgeldy Babayev, Turkmenistan’s point man on Caspian issues, gave a presentation that was arguably the most informative speech of the day. He gave vital details about the Caspian sector of Turkmenistan and briefly described the activities of the foreign PSA holders.

Here is the complete text of his presentation:

Cooperation Priorities in the development of the Turkmen Sector of the Caspian Sea and the Transition Zone

Presentation by Khoshgeldy Babayev, Chairman of Turkmenistan President’s State Enterprise for the Caspian Sea

Turkmenistan’s growth strategy is based upon the national programme called the “Strategy of Economic, Political and Cultural Development of Turkmenistan until 2020”.

The most promising basis for implementing the National Strategy is by developing oil and gas resources of the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea and its adjacent coastal areas. All conference participants certainly aware of the significant contribution of hydrocarbon resources of the Caspian region to world energy balance. The Turkmen Caspian sector represents its critical component. In Soviet times Turkmen geologists conducted seismic studies totaling770000 linear kilometers of seismic profiles, including 3150 kilometers in the Middle Caspian.

During the years of Turkmenistan’s independence between 1995 and 2000, Western Geophysical, which was among those responsible for implementing the Turkmen government’s programme, used the regional seismic grid to map the entire Turkmenistan Caspian sector. The scope of this work totaled 16130 linear kilometers.

An up-to-date seismic data base was obtained, which helped supply the Turkmen government with the most accurate information on oil and gas reserves. For the first time, data on deep-occurring geological boundaries was obtained, which served as the critical technical basis for evaluation and classification of hydrocarbon potential as well as for identifying further strategies for raising foreign investment in the oil and gas exploration and production projects.

As a result of processing the earth science data, an undertaking in which Turkmen staff and Western Geco experts participated, an assessment was made of possible and future hydrocarbon resources of the Turkmenistan Caspian sector. They are estimated to be 11 billion tons of oil and 5.5 trillion cubic meters of gas. In other words, more than half of oil reserves and around 25 percent (one quarter) of Turkmenistan’s natural gas reserves are concentrated in the Turkmenistan sector of the Caspian Sea.

Within the Turkmen Caspian sector, two major oil-and-gas-bearing basins have been identified on the basis of specific geological features, namely Middle Caspian and South Caspian, divided by a transition zone.

Middle Caspian oil and Gas Basin is relatively less studied with geological and geophysical methods and has potential for oil and gas in Mesozoic and Paleozoic formations. Near the Turan Plate fringes, an area has been identified which became known as an “onlap / pinch-out trap zone”.

Based on the unique features of how oil and gas traps were formed within the studies area, the following oil and gas accumulation zones have been revealed in this region.

Interpretation of the seismic data indicates that the potential of the Middle Caspian is likely associated with carbonate reservoirs that settled on the edge of the continental shelf, rather than with structural traps of terrigenous rocks.

A number of prospects such as Charlak, Garadashlyk and Ak-Deniz are examples of possible reef structures in the Miocene cross-section within a shallow-water area of the Turan Plate.

Within the transition zone, inversion depressions and the Khazar-Osman Swell have been identified, their potential predominantly linked to Cenozoic deposits.

The Apsheron-Khazar Swell was interpreted as a boundary of continental crust of the Scythian-Turan Plate and oceanic crust of the South Caspian Basin.

The Khazar-Osman zone has been indicated to be confined to clayey diapir uplift. This area is characterized by multiple trusts associated with re-activation of more ancient normal folds and further clay diaprism. The diapir uplift and thrusts stretch from northwest toward southeast.

The geosynclinal South Caspian oil and gas Basin is characterized by a great diversity of highly potential zones, primarily in Neogena sequences. As of today, the best explored areas include: the Ogurdzhaly-Bilal Val (Swell), the Western zone of diapirs, the delta complex, the zone of clayey upwarps, the Southern zone of clayey diapirs.

In the northern areas of the Southern Caspian, seismic studies revealed the NW-SE Ogurzhaly-Bilal Swell. The 2005 recommendations include assessment of prospective hydrocarbon resources within the confined anticlinal traps of the swell.

Blocks 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and the marginal north-eastern sections of blocks 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 are believed to be highly prospective in terms of potential identification of stratigraphic oil and gas traps in the paleodelta complex.

Seismic data from the western section of the Ogurdzhaly prospect has revealed clustered channels and a hilly pattern of the peleodelta complex in the upper-redstone cross-section.

North-eastern sections of blocks 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 tectonically lie within the zone of clayey upwarps. Here, shifting clay, scoop-shaped fractures and related bending structures are found.

The northern section of block 24 tectonically lies in the western zone of diapirs. Here, large structural uplifts are located, which are linked to tectonic disturbances and are complicated by clay dipirism under excess pressure.

South-western sections of blocks 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 tectonically occur in the southern zone of clayey diapirs. Here, unexplored traps closed along dips and fractures are located, stretching from west-north-west to east-south-east. Clay diapirism suggests the presence of highly abnormal pressures.

In conclusion of this geological overview, I would like to point out that the consistent patterns of the location of oil and gas deposits, established on both land and sea areas of the Middle Caspian and South Caspian oil and gas basins, as well as the latest geological and geophysical data, make it possible to highly assess the above oil and gas accumulation zones in terms of the potential of large oil and gas discoveries.

In this regard, I would like to briefly dwell on thee results of oil operations of foreign oil companies that operate under the Production Sharing Agreements within four prospective blocks.

Dragon Oil

This year, Dragon Oil is to produce in this block more than 900000 tons of oil. The share of offshore production in nationwide total oil production has reached 6.4%.

In 2004, a new stationary platform, LAM-21, was commissioned. This year, two wells were successfully drilled – Dzheitun 10/110 and 10/111. Both wells were drilled using a directional drilling technique. These wells are currently under operation and are developed in three productive horizons of the redstone formation. The use of new equipment and technology by the company enabled it to obtain daily flow rates of oil from the new wells ranging between 400 tons and 600 tons.

In 2006, the company expects to drill and bring on-stream another eight new wells. Also, drilling of one appraisal well, West-A is expected at the Dzheitun field, which is hoped to deliver an increase in oil reserves in this field.

Dragon Oil is significantly expanding its prospecting operational area. This year, PetroAlliance Services Ltd. completed a 3D swidmic survey aiming to identify optimum drilling locations for potential new wells. The study area covered 652 square kilometers. Furthermore, during this work, seismic data were gathered using an ocean bottom cable drawn across the Dzheitun and Dzhygalibeg fields. The maximum design study depth was 6 kilometers below the seabed surface. Seismic data interpretation is performed by France’s CGS (Companie Generale de Geophysique). The scope of investments Dragon Oil has earmarked for the contractual acreage in 2006 is estimated at US $ 280 million.

In 2010, Dragon Oil hopes to bring up the annual production rate to 2.5 million tons of oil.


Petronas has drilled seven wells in its offshore prospect; all of them have yielded commercial inflows of oil, gas and condensate. Daily oil flow rates in the wells vary from 600 tons to 2000 tons.

As my esteemed colleagues know, Petronas has conducted a set of geological and geophysical studies, including 2D and 3D seismic surveys, as well as drilling exploration and appraisal wells. The results of these operations have helped significantly expand the field productivity range in terms of both the surface area and downhole operations.

In order to ascertain reserve calculations for Block 1provided by Petronas, a contract was made with Gafney Klein for an expert review of the identified hydrocarbon reserves.

During this year, Petronas put in significant efforts to prepare the contract area for pilot commercial operation of the oil and gas fields. A Mobile Offshore Production Unit (MOPU) and an Offshore Oil Storage facility were constructed. At present, they have been delivered to the Caspian Sea and are being installed at the production site.

This year, the company began construction of an onshore gas terminal at Gyyanly and sections of a self-mounted production platform in Malaysia.

Petronas expects to launch a full-scale development of the oil/gas/condensate fields in its block in late 2007.

Maersk Oil

A turning point in the history of development of Turkmenistan’s oil and gas resources came with the signing of a Production Sharing Agreement on the unified block 11-12. The critical significance of this event is in the fact that for the first time ever, oil and gas prospecting operations were taken to the Middle Caspian oil and gas basin, an area of huge oil and gas potential associated with three prospective oil and gas bearing complexes: Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic. The Cenozoic complex is confined to southern sections of the offshore blocks 11-12 at the junction with the South Caspian mega-depression and is also characterized by favourable conditions for potential discoveries of oil and gas deposits of lithologo-stratigraphic type.

Project operator here is the Danish company Maersk Oil. Today, 2D seismic studies have been completed, which yielded a total of 5070 linear kilometers of seismic profiles. As a result of seismic data interpretation, large oil and gas traps were revealed, and the Garadashlyk prospect was identified as the top priority for construction of a prospecting well. The well design depth is 3900 meters. Sea depths range between 20 meters and 80 meters. Drilling of the well is ongoing as we speak.


Wintershall signed an agreement with the Turkmenistan ministry of oil and gas industry and mineral resources for study of northern blocks within the Turkmenistan sector of the Caspian Sea in order to determine the most promising potential oil and gas accumulation zones. As a next step, the company hopes to sign a production sharing agreement for one of the offshore blocks.

Licensing of the offshore projects on the basis of direct negotiations is continuing. At present, we are negotiating production sharing agreements with several companies for six blocks in the Turkmen Caspian sector.

By 2020, the share of investments in offshore project development is to reach 40% of total investments in the oil and gas sector, which have been planned at US $ 63 billion.

Dear Colleagues! A number of significant steps have been taken in the country in order to sustain national environmental safety, which is one of the topmost priorities of the national policy. “While engaging in economic activity, using natural resources, we must always remember that environmental systems are highly vulnerable, and without a caring attitude toward them, future generations would have to make much greater efforts and spend more resources for their production.” These words by Turkmenistan’s President Saparmurat Niyazov Turkmenbashy the Great express the gist of Turkmenistan’s environmental practices, which combine aspects and factors that originate from both national interests and international obligations of our country. Turkmenistan remains true to the principles of active participation in environmental protection and preservation programmes, preventing ecological anomalies on both the national global levels. The country has developed and implemented a number of regulations and laws, such as “On Environmental Protection”, “On Subsoil”, “On Hydrocarbon Resources”, and the National Caspian Sea Oil Spill Prevention and Response Plan.

Turkmenistan has enthusiastically cooperated with Caspian littoral nations under the jointly-developed Framework Convention for protection of the offshore environment of the Caspian Sea. Adopting this crucial environmental protection document was a real step that responded to the letter and spirit of international approaches to addressing the paramount environmental challenges faced by the Caspian., Turkmenistan was one of the first Caspian states to ratify this document.

In step with the concept of sustainable development and principles of international cooperation, the further strategy of our government is based on attracting foreign companies that use state-of-the-art, environmentally safe technology that meets international standards.

I would like to conclude by saying that further details on the offshore blocks to be licensed in the Turkmenistan sector of the Caspian Sea are available from the ministry of oil and gas and mineral resources, which is Turkmenistan’s competent authority in negotiations with foreign investors under production sharing agreements. The ministry will provide you with all the necessary legislation and technical data. The technical data is presented as data packages with varying sets of contents of geological, geophysical and technical information.

Thank you and I wish you all the best.

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 12:01 AM
Monday, 24 October 2005
Turkmenistan Introduces New Passport for International Travel
Topic: Foreign Relations
Ashgabat, 25 October 2005 (nCa) --- Turkmenistan has announced introduction of a new passport for its citizens for international travel. Old passports would remain valid until replaced by new ones.

The new passport would include biometrical data to meet the international requirements. It would show the digital picture of the owner, fingerprints and machine-readable data.

A statement by the government of Turkmenistan says that the new passport is being introduced as an effort by Turkmenistan to participate in war against terrorism, transnational crimes and illegal migration.

The measure is aimed at ensuring free exit and entry of the citizens of Turkmenistan to other countries and protection of their constitutional rights, the statement says.

The state service of Turkmenistan for registration of foreign citizens is charged to conduct the tender on purchase of necessary equipment and production of forms for the new passports.

The document signed Monday by President Niyazov specifies the Regulations on order of issues of the new exit-entrance passports for citizens of Turkmenistan. The old passports of the citizens of Turkmenistan are valid till the full exchange with new passports.

The first holder of the new passport is President Niyazov.

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 11:01 PM
Monday, 17 October 2005
Parker Waxes Lyrical about Turkmenistan
Topic: Economy & business
Ashgabat, 18 October 2005 (nCa) --- Robert Parker, chairman of the American company Parker Drilling, met Monday with President Niyazov. In addition to discussing further drilling plans for Turkmenistan, Parker spared no effort in praising the president and the people of Turkmenistan.

“I like your president. He is a very inspiring person,” Parker began.

Explaining that he was drilling for the country and for the president, Parker said, “There are good prospects and we talked about that. The meeting was good. We are happy that we are here and we are drilling wells successfully for your country and for the president.”

“And, he has been very, very helpful, along with Chalyk, to accomplish new technology and new education and more benefits in oil and gas for the people here. It is exciting to see improvements since I was last here,” he continued.

Talking about all the improvements that he happened to observe in Turkmenistan, Parker said, “[Improvements in everything] inspire me.”

After inspiration, Parker talked about admiration. “I told the president, I admire him for making that happen for the country.”

After praising lavishly the land, the country, the people and everything else, Parker said, “It is just tremendous what this president is doing for this country.”

To make doubly sure, Parker underlined, “We drill all over the world; our company does. And, I told the president I have seen more improvements and progress here than in any other country.”

About the Turkmen workers, Parker said, “They are the best workers I have ever seen.”

Parker, in tandem with Chalyk Energy of Turkey, is drilling in Turkmenistan for the last three years. It is a triangular partnership between Parker, Chalyk and the Turkmen government. Parker drills the holes and provides its rig; Chalyk supervises speed and quality of work on behalf of Turkmenistan and ensures timely payments to Parker. The entire liaison with the Turkmen government is routed through Chalyk.

Parker and Boeing are two major American companies that were virtually on the brink but managed to pull back after they bagged contracts in Turkmenistan.

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 11:01 PM
Wednesday, 5 October 2005
Russian MTS Expects One Million Mobile Phone Users in Turkmenistan
Topic: Economy & business
Ashgabat, 5 October 2005 (nCa) --- Head of the largest Russian mobile phone operator MTS and secretary of state of the Russia-Belarus union expressed confidence Tuesday that the Turkmen mobile phone market could grow to one million users.

Vasiliy Sidorov, president of MTS that is the largest mobile phone provider in Turkmenistan also, and Paval Borodin, state secretary of the Russia-Belarus union, were on a charm offensive to win the economic cooperation of Turkmenistan.

After their meeting with President Niyazov, Borodin said, “You see, the conversation was very detailed. We talked about the range of programs, which today exist in union state Belarus-Russia. These include mobile communication, gas industry, agricultural production.”

Borodin told, “Today we also discussed the issue of development of mobile communication with MTS. We discussed it in details. Today you have few mobile telephones. Total number is 106000 for 6.5 million. We have 100 million of mobile phones for a population of 150 million.”

“I like very much the position of President [Niyazov]. We discussed this matter with participation of Ministry of communication, vice-premier, with participation of MTS president and president of Rosbank, which finances the project. The president gave clear instructions on investment and making the agreement, which he personally will sign,” explained Borodin.

“I think in the nearest 3-4 years MTS and Rosbank will increase investments in mobile communication. I think those 50000 of mobile phones will be expanded to 250000 or 350000 and then to 1 million,” he underlined.

Vasiliy Sidorov of MTS was also optimistic. He said, “We are very thankful to the President for the opportunity to talk him about our plans of investing in Turkmenistan – in the Turkmen market of mobile communication. We were given the opportunity to confirm our assurance that the market will grow at rapid pace.”

“We confirmed that we are here as long-term strategic partners,” he underlined.

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 11:01 PM
Agenda Issued for Peoples Council Meeting in Turkmenistan
Topic: Turkmenistan Political
Ashgabat, 5 October 2005 (nCa) --- President Niyazov approved Tuesday the agenda for the 16th meeting of the Khalk Maslehaty (Peoples Council) of Turkmenistan that is to take place this month in Ashgabat.

Khalk Maslehaty (KM), with its 2507 members, is the supreme legislative and deliberative body of Turkmenistan. It meets annually and on special occasions to chart the future course of Turkmenistan.

Here is the text of the presidential decree:

Decree by the president of Turkmenistan on convening the 16th session of the Halk Maslahaty [People's Council]

With the aim of making a comprehensive analysis and adequate assessment of the achievements scored in domestic and foreign policy and in the spiritual revival of independent and permanently neutral Turkmenistan; assessment of the country's further economic, political and cultural development; ensuring the state's stability; discussing with public measures and targets aimed at improving our people's welfare and conducting the next session of the People's Council at a highly organized level, as well as studying our compatriots' suggestions and appeals and also in line with Article 7 of the constitutional law of Turkmenistan "On the People's Council of Turkmenistan", I decree:

1. The 16th session of the People's Council of Turkmenistan is to be convened on 24-25 October 2005 in the city of Ashgabat with the following issues on its agenda:

The constitutional law of Turkmenistan "On amendments to the constitutional law of Turkmenistan 'On Peoples' Council of Turkmenistan'";

The law of Turkmenistan "On village heads";

The law of Turkmenistan "On local councils";

The law of Turkmenistan "On district and town peoples' councils";

The law of Turkmenistan "On election to district and town peoples' councils";

The law of Turkmenistan "On regional Peoples' Councils";

The law of Turkmenistan "On election to regional Peoples' Councils";

The draft law of Turkmenistan "On election of the president of Turkmenistan";

The amendments to the code of Turkmenistan "On taxes", the laws of Turkmenistan "On protection of citizens' health", "On permission to deal with a certain forms of activities" and "On adopting the code of Turkmenistan on social security";

The resolution adopted by the Peoples' Council of Turkmenistan "On maintaining Turkmenbasy's Spirit mosque as the basis of the national spirit and on provision of permanent social support to it";

A decree by the Turkmen president "On pardoning in honour of the holy Omnipotence Night" [27th night of the Holy month of Ramadan];

A decree by the Turkmen president "On awarding the title Honorary Elder of Turkmenistan".

2. A state commission is to be set up with the aim of conducting the 16th session of the People's Council in the best possible way and collecting and analysing proposals and appeals addressed by our compatriots to the People's Council and submit them to the chairman of the People's Council.

3. The decree No 4249 adopted by the Turkmen president on 7 April 2005 is to be declared invalid.

[Signed by] The President of Turkmenistan, chairman of the People's Council of Turkmenistan, Saparmyrat Turkmenbasy.

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 11:01 PM

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