Turkmenistan and Energy Charter Conference 2017

Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

According to Turkmen state news agency, Ashgabat will host the next session of the Energy Charter Conference in 2017. Currently, Turkmenistan is the chairman of Energy Charter Conference. Turkmenistan was declared to chair the Energy Charter Conference at its 27th session in Tokyo. It has become hub of international energy conferences during which most important issues of development of the global energy resources market, development and introduction of the latest technologies, and the ways and means of development of oil and gas industry are thoroughly discussed.

Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat Urban Rusnak said that Turkmenistan, possessing one of the world’s largest energy potential, is seeking to build a sustainable architecture of global energy security based on the principles of justice, respect for the balance of interests of both producer countries and transit countries, as well as consumers.

According to BP, Turkmenistan ranks fourth in the world in terms of the volume of natural gas reserve. The country’s recoverable reserves are estimated at 17.5 trillion cubic meters of gas, or 9 percent of the total world reserve that puts the country on the fourth place after Iran, Russia and Qatar.

During Turkmenistan’s Cabinet of Ministers meeting the President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed the resolution which created the organizing committee to project its presidency at the Conference on the Energy Charter 2017, locally as well as internationally. Moreover, its structure has also been approved.

According to the resolution, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country is advised to create together with the Energy Charter the concept of presidency of Turkmenistan in 2017 on Conferences on the Energy Charter, and also the agenda and the program of the international actions which are coming in Turkmenistan and abroad. It also offers the State Committee on television, broadcasting and cinematography and the state news agency to highlight these actions at the high level in national, regional and global mass media.

In 2007 at the 62nd session of General Assembly of the UN the President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov pledged the creation of the new international legal mechanism on ensuring energy security. In 2008 and 2013 of the UN special resolutions on reliable and stable transit of energy carriers on the world markets were adopted, in them the basic principles and approaches to development of constructive partnership in this sphere were stated.

Since, Turkmenistan has become ideal hub of energy conferences; it has been dealing with the largest international organizations for the further energy cooperation. In December, 2014 together with this structure the Ashgabat Forum “Reliable and Stable Transit of Energy Carriers” was held, and also the first international meeting of experts in this subject was arranged. Profile meetings of experts took place also in 2015 in Brussels (Belgium) and Beijing (China), and in 2016 in Tirana (Albania).

Turkmenistan has concrete and comprehensive plans for further energy cooperation, development of renewables(alternative source of energy), reduction of high carbon footnotes, climate change, energy saving, energy security, energy efficiency by introducing new modern technologies, energy investments and the last but not the least, stability of international energy markets in order to meet the growing global demand for energy and improvement of the investment climate in the member countries of Energy Charter; to involve other countries to the Charter during its chairmanship of energy charter conference 2017.

The government of Turkmenistan is taking all possible measures for the further strengthening of regional energy cooperation with other countries. It is also suggested that there should be a strict observance of the international standards and standards in which the ecological aspect shall act as priority in all the large-scale projects on ensuring global energy security.

Turkmenistan attaches great importance to the development of targeted mechanisms in the issues of global energy strategy. Turkmenistan and the Energy Charter Secretariat are already holding negotiations at the expert level to develop an international legal document regulating the rights and obligations of producers, transit countries and consumers of energy resources.

The International Energy Charter conference uses to hold every year. It aims to reflect on issues in world’s energy sector; to review the implementation of the provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty and the Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects, and to consider possible new instruments and joint activities within the Energy Charter framework.

Beside Iran, Iraq, Guatemala, and three international organizations namely G5 Sahel, the East African Community, and the Economic Community of Central African States signed the declaration document and therefore became observers to the Energy Charter. With Iran joining the organization, the overall number of countries and organizations that are a member of the International Energy Charter extends to 80.

The Energy Charter Conference, an inter-governmental organisation, is the governing and decision-making body for the Energy Charter process, and was established by the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty.

All states or Regional Economic International Organisations who have signed or acceded to the Treaty are members of the Conference, which meets on a regular basis to discuss issues affecting energy cooperation among the Treaty’s signatories, to review the implementation of the provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty and the Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects, and to consider possible new instruments and joint activities within the Energy Charter framework.

Concluding Remarks

Currently, Turkmenistan is the chairman of Energy Charter Conference 2017. Energy charter conference will be held in Ashgabat 2017 during which all important issues of regional as well as global energy cooperation will be discussed. Moreover, Turkmenistan has comprehensive plans to achieve these goals of energy charter conference 2017. Turkmenistan has proved itself as a reliable and promising partner in international cooperation, by confirming its status as one of the largest suppliers of gas to the world market. Ashgabat’s plans to diversify the country’s energy export partners into Europe, Asia and Middle East. TAPI is the prime example of its friendly energy policies towards all the regional countries.

One of the priorities of Turkmenistan’s energy policy is the diversification of its gas export. One of these priorities is the construction project of the 300-kilometer Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, which will annually transport 30 billion cubic meters of gas via Azerbaijan to Europe. The negotiations on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan began in September 2011.

Turkmenistan has substantial reserves of hydrocarbon resources on land and in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea. Currently, they have been an estimated at 71.2 billion tons of oil equivalent confirmed by international experts. 70 percent of these relates to gaseous hydrocarbon resources.

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