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EU courts Ashgabat for natural gas

Jan. 17, 2011 at 9:21 AM

BRUSSELS, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The president of Turkmenistan was invited to Brussels to take part in negotiations regarding a European natural gas corridor, sources said.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso wrapped up his trip to Azerbaijan last week, walking away with a milestone agreement for gas supplies for the so-called Southern Corridor of transit networks.

The Southern Corridor includes the Nabucco pipeline, which enjoys widespread political support but lacks formal commitments from non-Russian gas suppliers.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov visit was invited to Brussels for energy talks with European delegates, the Trend news agency reported, citing sources familiar with the plans. No date was specified, however.

Barroso, during his visit to Central Asia, expressed support for building a pipeline across the Caspian Sea that could link to European gas transit networks, the report added. Europe, the source stressed, was ready to buy gas from Turkmenistan and further the development of its energy sector.

Turkmenistan boasts abundant supplies of natural resources. Its Dauletabad field holds more than 40 trillion cubic feet of gas.

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