ASHGABAT (Turkmenistan), Oct 26 — Petronas’ huge investments in Turkmenistan reflects its confidence in a long-term partnership with the country, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said today.
He said to date, the national oil and gas company had invested a total US$10 billion (RM42 billion) in the country.
“Petronas has been operating in Turkmenistan for 23 years since July 1996,” said the minister in a series of tweets via his official Twitter today.
Mohamed Azmin arrived here late yesterday evening to accompany Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his two-day official visit to the country, beginning tomorrow.
Dr Mahathir’s visit is upon the invitation of Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who had twice made official visits to Malaysia — December 2011 and November 2016.
In his tweet, Mohamed Azmin said this morning he had been briefed by Petronas Carigali Turkmenistan chief executive officer Ruslan Abdul Ghani at the Petronas Ashgabat office that was also attended by the firm’s top management team.
The minister said Petronas is operating in Block 1, about 80km southwest of Turkmenbashy — the first Production Sharing Contract (PSC) awarded by the government of Turkmenistan.
Following two high profile visits by Turkmenistan leaders in 1994, its government acknowledged Petronas’ experience and accomplishments in the oil and gas industry and invited the company to invest in the country.
In 1996, Petronas was awarded a 32-year PSC until 2008 for exploration and production of gas in the Block 1 offshore area in the Caspian Sea.
Turkmenistan has the fourth-largest underground natural gas reserves in the world after Russia, Iran and Qatar with proven natural gas reserves of 20 trillion cubic metres.
However, the numbers could be higher as much of its areas have yet to be explored.
Mohamed Azmin said in 2018, Turkmenistan recorded 6.2 per cent growth in gross domestic product, valued at US$40.4 billion.
Turkmenistan is an oil and gas producing country with a population of 5.8 million of which 85 per cent are Muslims. — Bernama