ASGABAT, Turkmenistan, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Turkmenistan is shortly to open its 4,350-mile natural gas pipeline to China.
The pipeline, which will link Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and China, will start operations in December, allowing Beijing eventually to purchase 40 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas annually.
Turkmenistan.ru news agency reported Wednesday that Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov invited Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to the upcoming commissioning of "the gas pipeline of the century." Berdimuhamedov said, "The new gas pipeline, just like the future Caspian gas pipeline, is a vivid example of successful cooperation between countries in solving such a pressing problem of our times as global energy security. The creation of multi-vector routes for the export of Turkmenistani hydrocarbons pursues only one goal -- to facilitate national, regional and global development, maintain international peace and security."
In July 2009 the state-owned company Turkmengaz and the China National Petroleum Corp. concluded a natural gas purchase and sale agreement providing for initial sales of 10 billion cubic meters annually.