The Turkmenbashi permitted the Chinese to develop Southern Iolotan
Turkmenistan.Ru reports that President Saparmurat Niyazov signed the document that endorsed the decision of the contest commission of the State Corporation Turkmengeology. This latter handled prospective investors' offers concerning development of Gunorta Yeloten or Southern Iolotan, a major oil and gas deposit.
Turkmengeology was permitted to sign a contract with the Chinese National Oil and Gas Corporation for three years. The Chinese will drill twelve gas wells 5,000 meters deep in Southern Iolotan and other fields. It will cost the contractor $151.87 million (discounting the VAT).
Niyazov announced discovery of Southern Iolotan in early November 2006. It is believed to contain 7 trillion cubic meters of gas, almost twice as much as the Schtockmann deposit in the Barents Seas with its 3.7 trillion cubic meters. According to the Turkmenbashi, his country is determined to up the annual gas export to nearly 220 billion cubic meters by 2020. The largest gas importer in Central Asia, Turkmenistan produces about 60 billion cubic meters every year nowadays.