Turkmen President supports Itera's growing presence in republic

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has approved plans of Itera to broaden the market of Turkmen gas supplies. He also agreed to the company's intention to participate in projects on exploring Turkmen gas fields, repairing and enhancing capacities of the country's gas infrastructure, constructing liquid gas producing facilities, port terminals and other facilities, the Turkmen presidential press service reported. Niyazov and Itera head Igor Makarov also agreed on questions concerning an increase in supplies of Turkmen natural gas in 2003 and 2004.

The Turkmen leader spoke in favor of accelerating preparations for the project on exploring the Turkmen shelf on the Caspian Sea on the basis of the Production Sharing Agreement. Turkmenistan's partner in this project is the joint venture Zarit founded by Itera and Russian state companies Zarubezhneft and Rosneft.

Itera is cooperating with Turkmenistan within the framework of a contract that expires in 2007. According to this document, Itera may buy up to 10bn cubic meters of Turkmen gas per year.

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