Turkmenistan gas exports could increase from their current levels of 45bn m³ to between 160 and 170bn m³ by 2021 once its pipeline connections to China reach full operational capacity. By the end of the current year, the three branches of the China -Central Asia pipeline are expected to have an annual capacity of 55bn m³. A fourth branch that will run through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is due to come on stream in 2017, by which time the throughput capacity of the gas pipeline system heading eastwards will have risen to 80bn m³. Turkmenistan possesses the fourth-largest natural gas reserves in the world and, at Galkynysh, its second-largest gas field. It currently exports gas to Russia and Iran as well as to China, and its export potential could be significantly improved if plans to lay a pipeline on the bed of the Caspian Sea are realised, as it would then be able to link its offshore fields into Azerbaijan’s TANAP pipeline that will run into Turkey and from there onto Western Europe.
China-Central Asia pipeline network
Source: Times of Central Asia