(Restores original figure of $2.4 billion in tenth paragraph
after erroneous correction. In third bullet point and ninth
paragraph, specifies investment relates to infrastructure)
* Turkmenistan owns 32 licence oil blocks in Caspian
* State oil firm Turkmenneft produces most of Turkmen crude
* Dubai-based Dragon Oil plans to invest $1 bln in
infrastructure until 2015
* Foreign oil majors keep eyes riveted on Turkmen riches
By Marat Gurt
ASHGABAT, Oct 18 Hydrocarbon-rich Turkmenistan
will attract this year $3.8 billion in investments from its
production sharing agreements (PSAs) with foreign firms
developing oilfields in the Caspian, a senior state official
said on Thursday.
Rising investment in Turkmenistan's oil-rich Caspian shelf
indicates growing interest by foreign oil firms to develop
deep-lying but promising riches in the sea, while the state has
been reluctant to admit Western companies to its onshore
Official data put last year's investment in the Caspian Sea
shelf at $2.1 billion
Turkmenistan, better known as Central Asia's largest natural
gas producer and one of the world's largest holders of "the blue
fuel", produces annually around 10 million tonnes of crude
(about 200,000 barrels per day), with state oil concern
Turkmenneft accounting for most of the oil output.
"Our forecasts show that investments in Turkmenistan's
sector of the Caspian Sea shelf are set to total $3.8 billion,"
Ashirguly Begliev, deputy chairman of the state agency for the
use and management of hydrocarbon resources, told an investment
The Turkmen sector of the Caspian comprises 32 licence
blocks. Two of them are being developed and another three are
The government estimates its Caspian oil reserves at 12
billion tonnes of crude and more than 6 trillion cubic metres of
natural gas. However, the country's hydrocarbon riches in the
sea lie at big depths and demand large-scale investment.
Apart from state-owned Turkmenneft, several foreign
companies are also drilling within the framework of their PSAs
with the government, including Dubai-based Dragon Oil
and Malaysian state oil company Petronas.
Turkmenistan-focused Dragon Oil plans to invest up to $1
billion i n infrastructure u ntil 2015 in developing the Caspian
Sea shelf, the company's chief operating officer, Hussain Al
Ansari, said earlier on Thursday.
The company, controlled by Dubai's Emirates National Oil
Company, had invested about $ 2.4 billion i n Turkmenistan between
2000 and June 2012, he told the same investment conference.
He said Dragon Oil also confirmed its plans to achieve a
production growth rate of between 10 and 15 percent in 2012.
Dragon Oil remained on target to reach the 100,000 bpd level
in 2015, the company said in a statement.
Dragon Oil's output had risen more than tenfold from a 7,000
bpd in 2000 to 71,751 bpd at the end of 2011, Al Ansari said.
Several international majors, including Total,
Chevron, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMObil,
are vying for some of the undeveloped offshore oil blocks.
(Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; editing by James Jukwey and