New Gas Pipeline From Central Asia Feeds China

The New York Times has more about the new gas pipeline running from Turkmenistan to Xinjiang, which President Hu Jintao officially opened this week:

The ambitious project runs 1,140 miles across three Central Asian nations to the Chinese border, linking Turkmenistan to the Chinese region of Xinjiang. Once inside China, it connects with a pipeline that can carry the fuel even farther east.

Though helpful to energy-parched China, the project siphons potential supplies from the long-delayed pipeline that the European Union would like to see built from Turkey to Central Europe. Such a project could also tap sources of natural gas in Turkmenistan, a stark illustration of the overlapping energy interests at play in the region.

For the China pipeline, Turkmenistan says it can supply 40 billion cubic meters of gas for 30 years once the line reaches full capacity, reported China Daily, an official English-language newspaper. That is about the equivalent of half of China’s current consumption of natural gas.

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