Turkmenistan Abolishes Agencies Managing Key Gas Industry

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ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan, which holds the world’s fourth-largest natural gas reserves that are the base of its economy, has abolished two of the primary government agencies responsible for the sector.

The central Asian country has been the prime mover in the effort to build a gas pipeline to serve Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.

The government newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan said President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov had ordered the disbanding of the Ministry of Oil and Gas and the State Agency For Managing Hydrocarbon Resources.

The report said the move is aimed at improving management of the sector. But it could also reflect budget concerns amid low world prices for gas. Turkmenistan depends on gas exports for about one-third of its GDP.

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