by Margarita Usmanova
Natural gas is becoming increasingly important in the 21st century as the most environmentally safe source of energy and chemical raw materials. According to expert forecasts, natural gas and gas chemistry will play the same role this century that oil and oil chemistry played in the last. Turkmenistan is a state with great resources of strategically important hydrocarbons (mainly natural gas) and one of the leading energy providers in the world, making the country an influential player on the global energy market.
The 5th International Turkmenistan gas Congress (TGC) took place by the Caspian Sea in the Avaza tourism zone at the Berkarar hotel on 20th – 21st May 2014. The event attracted around 500 delegates from 41 countries, including representatives of government bodies, heads of diplomatic missions, prominent international organisations, scientists and experts and the representatives of 158 organisations. A number of key Turkmen government officials also attended including the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan responsible for the Oil and Gas sector, Baymurad Hodzhamukhamedov, the Director of the State Agency for the Use and Management of Hydrocarbon Resources under the President of Turkmenistan, Yagshigeldy Kakaev and the chairmen of the Turkmengaz, Turkmenneft, Turkmengeologia, Turkmenhimiya and Turkmenneftegazstroy State Corporations.
International visitors included a high ranking delegation from Russia, headed by the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Russian Federation, Arkady Dvorkovich, and delegations from Afghanistan, Algeria UAE, EU, US, Qatar and Canada among 41 attending nations. A number of key companies also attended including executives from Shell, Chevron, BG Group, ExxonMobil and Turkmenistan’s largest independent producer, Dragon Oil.
The welcome address from President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to the congress participants noted that the congress plays an important role in the implementation of prioritised programmes aimed at increasing the rate of industrialisation of the country, the diversification of the national economy, the intensive study of the colossal hydrocarbon resources of Turkmenistan and the introduction of the latest technologies and solutions into their extraction and processing. This was followed by a number of plenary sessions chaired by significant figures in the oil industry and focused on the opportunities for Turkmenistan’s gas plays to be maximized in the most efficient and environmentally friendly manner. A number of networking events and dinners were also held to maximize the exchange of ideas and contacts.