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Energy-rich Turkmenistan boosts gas exports

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Sept. 19, 2011, 12:25 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, right, speaks to Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych during their meting in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Monday6 Sept. 12, 2011.
© AP

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — Turkmenistan's state newspaper says the energy-rich Central Asian nation has started up a new natural gas compressor station, boosting its annual export capacity by 2 billion cubic meters. The daily Neutral Turkmenistan reported Monday that the gas will be fed into the Central Asia-Center 3 pipeline, which is linked into supply routes to Russia and Iran.

Russian demand for Turkmen gas is weak, meaning the gas will likely go to covering the unused annual capacity in an 8 billion cubic-meter pipeline to northern Iran. Around 5 billion cubic meters of gas sourced from an offshore Caspian Sea field operated by Malaysia's Petronas are already pumped annually into that route.

Turkmenistan and Iran are currently joined by two gas pipelines, allowing for total deliveries of up to 20 billion cubic meters per year.
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