International Scientific Conference: “Environmental aspects in the production of hydrocarbon resources”
23 June, 2022
Turkmen Forum in collaboration with Turkmenistan’s national oil companies has introduced a new conference focused on environmental issues during hydrocarbon developments and prospects for hydrogen energy” which took place on June 23 at the Yildiz hotel in Ashgabat. The primary focus of the conference was reduction of environmental emissions during hydrocarbon developments, managing world – famous “Darvaza” gas crater and prospects of the hydrogen energy.
It was a prestigious event, which was planned to be held annually in order to discuss environmental issues facing oil & gas sector of Turkmenistan and strengthen international cooperation between Turkmen state organizations and major oil and gas institutions and international organizations focused on environment and green future.
Turkmenistan pays special attention to environmental issues and in particular the reduction of methane and associated gas emissions in the development of oil and gas fields. In his time as Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov speaking at the COP26 Forum in Glasgow last November said that: “Turkmenistan at the national level pays special attention to reducing methane emissions, and in this regard welcomes the new initiative “Global Methane Commitment”, adopted within the framework of this high Forum”.
The Turkmen side also expressed interest in a detailed study of the new initiative with a view to possible substantive participation in it. The launch of the Global Methane Commitment was initiated by the US and the EU with the goal of collectively reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 compared to 2020 levels. More than 90 countries supported the initiative in Glasgow.
Serdar Berdimuhamedov also said that: “Turkmenistan plans to achieve zero growth in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and in the long term, to significantly reduce emissions annually, both at the expense of its own financial resources and with the technical and financial support of international organizations. Turkmenistan stands for a consolidated approach to the problems of this plan, taking concrete steps on its part to protect the environment and striving to contribute to the development of international cooperation in such a vitally important area for all mankind”.
It is worth noting that Ashgabat offered to open a Regional Center for Climate Change Technologies in Central Asia. In addition, the government of Turkmenistan previously put forward initiatives for the development of the UN Water Strategy and the UN Special Program for the Aral Sea, the preservation of the ecosystems of the Caspian Sea.
Along with this, the country is successfully solving environmental problems at the national level, including the creation of forest areas, land reclamation and combating desertification. An example of the effectiveness of large-scale landscaping work is the wide "green" belts around the country's cities, which are replenished every year with millions of new seedlings.
Most recently, namely on March 15 this year, 193 UN members approved by consensus a resolution proposed by Turkmenistan aimed at promoting the development of cycling in the world. Member States are urged to "integrate cycling into public transport in urban and rural settings in developing and developed countries".
The document also asks to "improve road safety and promote the use of bicycles by individuals and businesses in order to increase the number of cycling trips, which contributes to the achievement of sustainable development, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions."
The Conference brought together senior representatives of the Turkmen government, CEOs of national and international oil & gas companies, senior management of energy organizations as well as major international institutions and research centers. Key topics for discussion included:
The impressive list of delegates included representatives of well known international companies such as CNPC, BP, SOCAR, Petronas, Areti, Mitro International, Buried Hill, NAPECO, Dragon Oil, ENI, Lukoil; international oil and gas organizations such as the International Energy Agency, IRENA, Global Gas Centre, Gas Exporting Countries Forum, Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Energy Charter Secretariat. The Conference’s sessions and panel discussions will be attended by the representatives of numerous international organizations and financial institutions – UN, OSCE, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and diplomatic missions accredited in Turkmenistan. In addition, George Kourunis, the Canadian explorer who was first to set off foot at the bottom of Darwaza gas crater actively participated in the conference and made a detailed presentation of his expedition, which he undertook back in 2013.
Participation in the Conference and business meetings during the event increased delegates’ understanding of potential investment opportunities in renewable energy opportunities and energy sector diversification towards greener energy.
Presentations and panel sessions within the framework of the event informed participants about the latest initiatives in reducing emissions and associated gas in development of Turkmenistan’s vast energy resources.
Due to travel restrictions, the event was held in both traditional and online formats. This approach was also used to organize meetings on the sidelines of the Conference with the management of the oil and gas sector of Turkmenistan.
Head of the International Economic Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan
Head of the Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy Sources of the State Electric Power Corporation "Turkmenenergo" of the Ministry of Energy of Turkmenistan
New Energy and Decarbonization Business development manager, Schlumberger Russia and Central Asia
Head of the Department of Environmental Protection and Hydrometeorology of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan
Politico-military officer of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat (Conservation of Natural resources)
Ýyldyz hotel – one of the best hotels in Turkmenistan. Located in the foothills of the Kopetdag mountains, its apartments offer the best panorama of the city of Ashgabat. In Turkmen, "Ýyldyz" translates as "Star", which is visible practically from any part of Ashgabat.