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Deal ensures supplies of natural gas

By Wu Jiao in Mary, Turkmenistan, Li Xiaokun and Du Juan in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-05 01:39

World's second-largest field will bring benefits to China and Turkmenistan

The Chinese and Turkmen presidents announced on Wednesday the completion of the first phase of the Galkynysh gas field, which will supply gas to China.

China National Petroleum Corporation also signed a new contract to import gas from Galkynysh — the world's second-largest gas field — a deal experts said will ensure China's growing natural gas supply and help Turkmenistan secure a stable buyer.

Deal ensures supplies of natural gas

President Xi Jinping and his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov attend a ceremony marking the completion of the first phase of the Galkynysh gas field in Mary, Turkmenistan, on Wednesday. The field will supply billions of cubic meters of natural gas a year to China.Ju Peng / Xinhua

President Xi Jinping and his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov attended the ceremony marking the start of operation of three processing plants at Galkynysh in South Turkmenistan.

Insiders told China Daily that each plant has an annual output of 10 billion cubic meters of gas.

A plant jointly developed by China National Petroleum Corporation will send its products entirely to China, and some gas from the other two plants is also likely to be sent to China.

Turkmenistan is China's largest supplier of natural gas, and China is the largest overseas market for Turkmenistan's natural gas.

Xi and Berdymukhamedov said on Tuesday that the annual transport of 65 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Turkmenistan to China by 2016 will be ensured through the world's longest natural gas pipeline.

In 2009, the two nations put into operation a pipeline of more than 8,000 km to bring vital energy supplies through China's western region.

China imports about 40 billion cubic meters a year from Turkmenistan.

According to insiders, most of the newly added 25 billion cubic meters will be from Galkynysh.

China National Petroleum Corporation, the country's largest energy producer, announced on Wednesday that it had signed an agreement with Turkmenistan to import 25 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually.

On Wednesday, Berdymukhamedov, leading 10 deputy prime ministers of the country, welcomed Xi when he arrived at the airport in Mary province.

An estimated 100,000 residents in traditional dress waved flowers along the road as Xi headed for the gas field from the airport. Energy cooperation with China has created 18,000 jobs for local people.

Li Li, research director at ICIS C1 Energy, an energy information consultancy in Shanghai, said the energy-rich Central Asian country has secured its best buyer for such an important energy supply.

"The cooperation between the two countries will further ensure energy security in Central Asia and contribute to China's economic restructuring," she said.

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