BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The launching of gas pipelines from Turkmenistan indicates the country has the potential to become a consistent supplier to foreign markets, officials said.
Leaders of Iran and Turkmenistan this week launched a 16-mile pipeline from the Dauletabad gas field in Turkmenistan to deliver resources to northern Iran.
Annamammad Mammadov, the Turkmen envoy to Azerbaijan, said the Iran-Turkmenistan pipeline was indicative of his country's policy of energy diversity, the Trend news agency reports.
"The priority of Turkmenistan's policy is diversification of supplies of energy sources," he said. "Foreign countries are interested in energy projects and we are ready to cooperate."
Beyond Dauletabad, he added, Ashgabat has several contracts with European and Asian countries to develop Yoloten-Osman natural gas deposits in the country.
Ashgabat in December opened a 1,138-mile pipeline to deliver gas from Turkmenistan to China.
The pipeline starts at the Turkmen border with Uzbekistan and then through Kazakhstan to the Xinjiang region in northwest China. A second leg of the pipeline goes into operation in this year.
Russia was the primary export market for Turkmen resources prior to a 2009 gas pipeline rupture that Ashgabat blamed on Russian gas giant Gazprom.