Turkmenistan Abolishes Oil and Gas Construction Company to Save Cash
Turkmenistan has in an attempt to slash its expenditures scrapped the state company responsible for building oil and gas-related infrastructure.
State newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan reported on July 8 that President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov stated in a decree that the move was taken to “further optimize the activities of the oil and gas sector.”
The main functions of Turkmenneftegazstroy will instead now be taken over by state gas monopoly Turkmengaz, which has taken the lead on the planned construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Work on this route, known as TAPI, officially began in December 2015 and is intended to provide gas to an energy-poor region while giving Ashgabat an urgently needed alternative market.
Turkmenistan sits on the fourth-largest reserves of gas in the world, but that has done little to avoid the country slipping into a crippling economic crisis. On the contrary, its excess reliance on a commodity of diminishing value and its failure to diversify its buyers beyond China — to which it owes billions of dollars — is actually in large responsible for causing the trouble in the first place.
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