TURKMENISTAN TESTS 'ENCOURAGING' OIL STRIKE

Another former Soviet central Asian republic has reported a highly encouraging oil strike that provides hope for halting or even reversing a long decline in its oil production. Turkmenistan reported it completed a well flowing more than 1,300 b/d in the central part of the Kara-Kum desert. Saparmurad Niyazov, the republic's president, recently predicted "black gold will become one of our nation's main riches."

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