U.S. energy envoy meets Turkmen president

June 14, 2011 at 8:11 AM

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, June 14 (UPI) -- Washington views Turkmenistan as a key player in global energy security initiatives, the U.S. special envoy for Eurasian energy said in Ashgabat.

Richard Morningstar, U.S. special envoy for Eurasian energy, met with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to discuss energy issues in Ashgabat.

"The U.S. praises the energy policy of Turkmenistan and its positive initiatives relating to global energy security and the development of broad international cooperation," Morningstar was quoted by the regional Trend news service as saying.

Berdimuhamedov had said his country was taking steps to diversify its pipeline infrastructure to help secure natural gas markets.

His comments follow a survey from British oil field auditing company Gaffney Cline that puts the latest Turkmen gas find at the South Yolotan field among the largest in the world.

Turkmenistan is already exporting natural gas to China, Iran and to Russia. Natural gas from the Dauletabad gas field is slated for a pipeline through Afghanistan and European leaders have eyed Turkmen resources for the so-called Southern Corridor.

Morningstar told a U.S. House subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia that Washington "strongly supports" the Southern Corridor.

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