BEIJING, June 11 (UPI) -- Constructing a widespread network of pipelines for natural resources in Turkmenistan is of great national interest, the country's president said.
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization last weekend, said he was "convinced" a strong regional natural gas pipeline network would be good for the economic development of the country.
"Turkmenistan is ready to hold constructive discussions and to develop joint plans in this direction," he was quoted by the regional Trend news service as saying. "We are ready to provide our powerful resource potential, the benefits of geoeconomic position and the experience of interaction with partners in the implementation of major energy projects for their implementation."
The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration estimates Turkmenistan has proven natural gas reserves of roughly 265 trillion cubic feet, placing it among the world leaders.
European backers of the so-called Southern Corridor of natural gas transit networks have considered reserves from Turkmenistan. The country would be the major supplier to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline, which has U.S. backing.
Ashgabat aims to expand its natural gas export capacity under the terms of a developmental program governing the energy sector through 2030.