Turkmen Energy Relations With China And Russia

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Turkmen Energy Relations with China and Russia Historically in the Russian sphere of influence, since the breakup of the Soviet Union, just like the rest of Central Asia, Turkmenistan has found itself in the middle of Sino-Russian confrontation over the question of who is the new regional powerhouse. Due to the shared Russian imperial and then Soviet past, the Russian influence the Turkman society was prevalent after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Pipelines carried Turkmen gas to Russia and then from Russia to Western markets. Turkmens had no alternative, all of Turkmen gas from the Dauletabad field was exported through the Soviet-era Central Asia-Center Pipeline System which was built between 1960 and 1988 and carried gas from Turkmen and Uzbek fields to a hub on the Russian-Kazakh border called Alexandrov Gai and then linked to the Russian pipeline network. Initially Russia bought the Turkmen gas at a very cheap rate and then resold it to the European markets at a price several times higher than what it paid the Turkmens. In March of 2008, following a meeting in Moscow between Gazprom and top energy officials from the region it was announced that beginning in 2009 the sale of natural gas will be made at European prices; however, Turkmens in particular had already realized the need for diversification. Turkmens started looking for alternatives to their export routes and one of the main directions they looked toward was the east, at the new rising dragon, China. The

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