The second Gas Congress of Turkmenistan took place at the end of May in Avaza, the national tourist zone of Turkmenistan on the Caspian coast. Some key declarations were made on the first day of the 2-day event. The British auditor Gaffney, Cline & Associates (GCA) said that South Yolotan-Osman gas field holds substantially more gas reserves than previously estimated. GCA had certified in 2008 that this cluster holds 4 to 14 trillion cubic meters (TCM) of natural gas. The Turkmen authorities later revised the estimates upward to 21 TCM. Peter Holding, the GCA chief for Russia and Caspian region, said , “It appears that the South Yolotan field is now easily the world’s second-largest gas field in terms of gas-in-place.” An official announcement on the size of the reserve is expected to be made by the end of June 2011.
The second major development during the Gas Congress was the reiterated commitment in the address of President Berdymuhamedov to supply gas to Europe. “Turkmenistan is taking concrete steps to create multiple pipeline systems for reliable, stable and long-term energy supplies to the world markets, including Europe. It is profitable both for exporters and consumers.”
The sentiment was reciprocated by the EU representative. The EU ambassador to Kazakhstan said, “Europe and Turkmenistan are moving to take energy cooperation to a higher level.” “The export of Turkmen gas to Europe is a goal we share. Our approach is to maximise diversification, to make sure that the risk of total gas cut-offs is avoided,” he added. The address of Berdymuhamedov also stressed the need for more investments in South Yolotan-Osman field. This could be a subtle way of hinting that Turkmenistan could be open to proposals for direct or service agreements with foreign companies.