Turkmenistan is overwhelmingly dependent on exports of its vast natural gas reserves, and Russia’s 2016 move to halt supplies dealt a heavy blow to the Turkmen economy.
China has replaced Russia as the top export destination for the Turkmen gas. Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said the country annually supplies 40 billion cubic meters (1.4 trillion cubic feet) of gas to China.
Earlier this year, China’s state-owned CNPC started work to set up new wells at Turkmenistan’s giant natural gas fields in exchange for future gas supplies. Under the deal with CNPC, Turkmenistan will pay for its services by supplying 17 billion cubic meters (600 billion cubic feet) of gas a year for the period of three years to a total of 51 billion cubic meters (1.8 trillion cubic feet) of gas.
Turkmenistan also has been working to build a pipeline that would pump gas to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.