On September 3, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping arrived in Turkmenistan for talks with Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. The two leaders signed a purchase agreement for 25 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year between China National Petroleum Corp and state firm TurkmenGas, that Berdymukhamedov told reporters would allow for the shipment of up to 65 bcm of gas annually. However, a senior Turkmen official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters on the sidelines of the talks that gas exports to China would reach that level by 2020. Exports to China were 20 bcm in 2012, according to the Turkmen government. China has existing contracts to increase purchases of Turkmen natural gas to 40 bcm in the coming years.
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