Bottom Line: Turkey has long been the inroad into Turkmenistan’s oil and gas sector, and the recent inking of a deal between the two countries solidifies this even more.
Analysis: On 30 May, Turkey and Turkmenistan signed an agreement for Turkmen gas supplies to Turkey, with Ashgabat rolling out the red carpet (and even a military parade) for Turkish President Abdullah Gul. The two countries signed a total of 12 cooperation agreements on 30 May, riding high on soaring trade volumes, which have reached $3.5 billion. Turkish companies have completed $34 billion in projects in Turkmenistan. Addressing his Turkmen audience, President Gul said that Turkmenistan extensive gas and oil reserves would find markets “both in Turkey and in Europe,” adding that natural gas in the country was delivered to the west and to the east via pipelines.
Recommendation: For US companies in particular, the gateway to Turkmenistan is through Turkey, and gaining a foothold in Turkmenistan’s oil and gas sector requires a Turkish gatekeeper.