Turkmen leader eyes changes in energy administration

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov is said to be planning changes in the sector's administration. All key officials in the industry are under scrutiny.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 17 -- Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov, following his recent public criticism of the country's oil and gas output, is said to be planning changes in the sector's administration. All key officials in the industry are under scrutiny.

"The results achieved do not match the real potential of the country's oil and gas industry, the growth rates needed for the Turkmen economy at a new stage of its history, and for the tasks outlined," the president said Oct. 15 during a televised meeting with the country's oil and gas leaders.

"The performance in the fuel and energy sector does not match the huge amounts of money allocated. This is why the performance of the fuel and energy sector in general should be rated as unsatisfactory," the president said.

"Because of our enormous natural and industrial potential, the fuel and energy sector plays a leading role in the national economy," the president said, adding that the main tasks set before this critical industry were reflected in the Turkmenistan oil and gas industry development program until 2030.

After hearing reports from the country's oil and gas executives, the president criticized their poor results on a number of issues. "The situation on the global market is not being taken into account. There is little use of new technologies and innovative scientific developments," he said.

"The oil and gas sector needs radical reforms," said the Turkmen leader.

Reports say Berdimuhammedov is eyeing the removal of the director of the state agency for the usage of carbohydrate resources, Bairammurad Muradov; Turkmengas Chairman Yagshgeldu Kakayev; Turkmenneft Chairman Kariagdy Tashliyev; Minister for Oil and Gas Industry of Mineral Resources Baimurat Khodzhamuhammedov; Turkmenneftegazstroi Chairman Dzumagedlu Babashev; Turkmengiologiia Chairman Sapageldu Dzumayev; and the heads of state petrochemical factories, Tukrmenbashi's Tgandeldi Mammedov and Turkmenkhimia's Muratgeldi Kurayev.

In late September, the Turkmen leader met with US Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice and later encouraged international investment in his country's oil and gas industry as a means of boosting output (OGJ Online, Sept. 21, 2007).

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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