ALMATY Oct 31 Britain's Gaffney, Cline &
Associates (GCA), commissioned by Turkmenistan to evaluate its
gas resources, plans to audit a number of fields there next year
to provide a fuller picture of the nation's total reserves.
GCA Business Development Manager Jim Gillett said his
company had completed the audit of two largest Turkmen fields
this month, ranking one of them, South Iolotan-Osman, as the
world's fifth- or fourth-largest gas deposit.
"We expect to move on to other fields probably in the new
year," Gillett told Reuters by telephone from Britain.
He confirmed an earlier report by the Turkmen state news
agency that put reserves of the South Iolotan-Osman field
between 4 trillion and 14 trillion cubic metres (tcm) with the
best estimate at 6 tcm.
Turkmenistan, which sells most of its natural gas to Russian
gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM), has ambitious plans to
supply Europe, China, Pakistan and India but needs to confirm
its massive reserves before embarking on new projects.
Turkmenistan has also said South Iolotan-Osman could produce
about 70 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year, roughly as much as
the whole country produces at the moment.
GCA has put the best estimate for the reserves of another
Turkmen field, Yashlar, at 700 bcm while its maximum estimate is
Turkmenistan says its total reserves exceed 20 tcm -- much
more than the 2.9 tcm estimated by BP (BP.L) in its annual
The world's top gas producer, Russia, has 47.65 tcm of gas
reserves and Iran has 28.13 tcm.
(Writing by Olzhas Auyezov, editing by Anthony Barker)