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Turkmenistan Sacks State Gas Firm Chief

Saturday 7 January 2012

ASHGABAT (Ninemsn) – Turkmenistan’s president has dismissed the head of the state gas company Turkmengaz – the largest in Central Asia – in the third such sacking since he took power, state television reports.

President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov (قربانفلی بردی محمدف) sacked the gas firm chief at a cabinet meeting, saying that “we need to raise the effectiveness of our work in the most important branch of the Turkmen economy, the oil and gas industry.”

Aghmurad Egeleev, former head of state company Turkmenneftegazstroy, was appointed as the new chairman Turkmengaz. The ousted gas chief, Amanaly Khanalyev, had been in the post for one year.

The Neitralny Turkmenistan newspaper reported on Saturday that a state watchdog and the prosecutor-general’s office had carried out checks of the ministries and state institutions and found “serious shortcomings”. As a result of this, “the Turkmen president dismissed the head of Turkmengaz,” it reported.

Berdymukhamedov had already fired two other heads of Turkmengaz since coming to power in 2007. The official reason given was shortcomings in their work.

Turkmenistan’s gas industry has developed as an independent branch of economy in the 1960’s with the discovery of Odzhak field in the country’s northeast. Later with discoveries in the northeast and southeast of the country of such new fields as Naiyl, Kerpichli, Shatlyk, Malay and Dauletabad Turkmenistan has become a major energy resource base in the USSR. Due to this reason at that time much attention was paid to increasing gas production and arranging its transportation to the European part of the country. At the same time no gas processing facilities have been planned. Despite the fact that at that time annual gas production reached 84 billion m³ of gas, consumption in Turkmenistan itself amounted only up to 3 billion m³/year.

State company Turkmengaz in accordance with the tasks set by the government is implementing a range of production works, including drilling of producing gas wells, installation of well facilities, gas treatment facilities, booster stations and servicing of these assets. Main contractors in civil construction are companies of the State Concern Turkmenneftegazstroi and certain foreign contractors.

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