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Emerging Europe round up: Turkmenistan opens the door

In the clearest sign yet that Turkmenistan is opening to foreign direct investment, the country has granted the first gas production licence to an overseas company. China’s national oil company, CNPC, has received approval to develop a field in the Amu Darya region in eastern Turkmenistan – the first new gas deposit to be developed since Soviet times. The project includes pipelines that will carry gas east across the region to China. CNPC eventually expects to produce 17 billion cubic metres of gas a year from the field.

Meanwhile, Lukoil and ConocoPhillips are bidding for three gas blocks in the country. Lukoil president Vagit Alekperov says he hopes to close a deal by the end of 2007.

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