ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan: Malaysian oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) has invested around US$8 billion (QR 29.121 billion, RM25.6 billion) in oil and gas (O&G) exploration works in Turkmenistan to further increase its production.
Commenting about the investment Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said Petronas' involvement in the Central Asian country will become more strategic in the future with this large investment.
"Petronas also plans to increase its gas and petrochemical flow. With this, the output in the production sharing contract area can be further enhanced," Najib told Bernama news agency at the Ashgabat International Airport before leaving for home Tuesday night.
According to Najib, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov considers Petronas as a partner which really understands the aspirations of his country.
"That is the reason why he wants Petronas to expand its investment in Turkmenistan while training the country's citizens to gain experience in the oil and gas sector," he said.
At present, Petronas is the only Malaysian company to participate in the O&G industry in Turkmenistan, through exploration works in the Caspian Sea since 1996.
Petronas entered into the production sharing contract with Turkmenistan, whereby, the Malaysian company undertakes exploration activities, before selling any oil and gas through Turkmen Gas.
On Tuesday, Petronas signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Long-term Cooperation between it and Turkmenistan's State Agency in Charge of Hydrocarbon.
Turkmenistan is ranked fourth among countries with proven gas reserves after Iran, Russia and Qatar, with an area of 17.5 trillion cubic metres.
Najib also considered his two-day official visit to the country as being more comprehensive compared to the inaugural trip in 2011, when the focus was more on launching the Petronas gas platform in the country, the Bernama report said. (QNA)