International news outlets were intrigued by an August 13th announcement by the Turkmen president at a government meeting indicating that Turkmenistan would review proposals for offshore drilling from the companies Chevron, TX Oil, Mubadala, and ConocoPhilips. Yet the statement was not yet a commitment, and the notice came at the end of a 2,900-word summary record of a meeting calling to discuss national development projects which mainly focused on the prospects for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-India-Pakistan (TAPI) pipeline. Somewhere after a discussion of fishing industry developments and plans to attract investment in carbamide plants, President Berdymukhamedov briefly mentioned foreign oil majors. He asked recently-appointed acting Deputy Premier Yagshigeldy Kakayev to "place under strict oversight" existing projects in the Caspian Sea run by Itera of Russia and RWE of Germany and to speed up environmental impact assessments.
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Catherine A. Fitzpatrick compiles the Turkmenistan weekly roundup for EurasiaNet. She is also editor of EurasiaNet's Sifting the Karakum blog. To subscribe to the weekly email, write firstname.lastname@example.org