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British NGO Alleges Turkmen Leader Conceals Gas Revenues --> Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov (right) prays at the opening of a gas compressor station (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) April 24, 2006 -- A British anticorruption group alleges in a report released today that Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov keeps most of his Central Asian nation's gas earnings off the books.

Global Witness estimated that the country makes more than $2 billion annually from natural-gas exports but that "Niyazov keeps most of the gas revenues under his effective control in overseas and off-budget funds."

It said the policy is depriving the national budget of revenues and fomenting economic instability.


Central Asia Gas Pipelines

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Russia's rising appetite for Central Asian gas is a direct result of the shifting fortunes of Gazprom, the state-run Russian company that controls lucrative exports. The company's total gas production has flatlined at around 550 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year. With major fields yielding less as they age, Gazprom has chosen to maintain its all-important gas balance by purchasing gas on the side -- from independent producers in Russia and from Russia's Central Asian neighbors -- instead of investing in the lengthy and costly development of untapped Arctic fields...(more)

See also:

Who's Afraid Of Gazprom? Controlling Gas Pipelines