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World > Middle East > Turkmenistan > Economy (Notes)

Turkmenistan - Economy (Notes)
ECONOMY
Turkmenistan is an important supplier of raw materials, especially natural gas, petrochemicals and raw cotton. With the 2006 harvest of 850,000 tons, Turkmenistan is the second largest cotton producer in the former Soviet Union after Uzbekistan. However, the crop yield has been steadily declining since independence because of poor irrigation and management practices. While outside estimates place Turkmenistan's proven natural gas reserves among those of the top 15 of gas-producing countries, Turkmenistan's claims place its reserves at far higher than outside sources consider credible. In January 2005 Turkmenistan claimed its current recoverable gas resources to be as much as 20.42 trillion cubic meters (tcm), but controversy surrounding the as yet unreleased certified audit results of Turkmenistan's single largest field, Dovletabad, casts doubts on the verifiability of Turkmenistan's claims for its total reserves. Despite its non-transparency about gas reserves, Turkmenistan remains the second largest gas producer in the former Soviet Union after Russia. Production figures have been consistently climbing since 1998 when Turkmenistan was virtually cut off from all outside markets by Russia. Turkmenistan's 2006 output was an estimated 67 billion cubic meters (bcm); the bulk of which (42 bcm) went to Russia.
Turkmenistan relies almost exclusively on Russia for its energy export routes because most of the pipeline network is laid on Russian territory. Turkmenistan currently holds a contract with Gazprom to supply annually 50 bcm in 2007 through 2009 at $100 per 1,000 cubic meters. Turkmenistan also exports to Iran about 8 bcm a year.
Turkmenistan's 2006 oil production dropped by 0.5 million tons in 2005 to 9 million tons. Among other major exports are liquefied natural gas (LNG) and polypropylene. Turkmenistan has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas sales to sustain inefficiencies in its economy. The private sector remains insignificant, with a substantial private share only in food processing, consumer trade and services. Despite the increased inflow of gas revenue, prospects in the near future are uncertain. Turkmenistan's statistics are closely held state secrets, and published GDP and other figures are subject to wide margins of error. Turkmenistan's unrealistic goal of 'self-sufficiency' also artificially sustains the cultivation of inefficient crops, such as wheat and cotton. The 2006 UN Development Program (UNDP) Human Development Report places Turkmenistan in the category of 'medium human development' although the unemployment and underemployment rates may be as high as 70%. Turkmenistan has cooperated with the international community to transport humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.


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Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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