Wang ZHONGCAI, Vice President of the “PetroChina”, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the China national petroleum Corporation (CNPC):

- How do you evaluate the results of cooperation between CNPC and Turkmenistan?

- Turkmen-Chinese energy cooperation has a ten-year history. There are two main aspects of our cooperation in the gas industry. The first direction is "upstream", the symbol of which is the project "Bagtyyarlyk". The second aspect is cooperation in gas trade. According to my evaluation, our cooperation has been successful during these 10 years. The volume of work on exploration and development of deposits is increasing. Although we now have a number of questions about the price of gas, I believe that this is just a technical point in our cooperation. In my personal opinion, the prospects for our cooperation are very broad. Due to our cooperation is complementary.

–You said that there are questions in the price; can it lead to a conflict situation?

– In general, our cooperation in the gas sector is very successful and smooth. Of course, now there are some questions concerning the price of gas. But I believe that this is only a temporary circumstance, because our sides hold different points of view. Both sides have a great desire to resolve this issue. And we maintain close contacts to resolve this issue. I think that our sides will definitely find an acceptable solution for both sides. We believe that compared to the scale of our cooperation, this problem is only a small part of it.

– You said that each of the parties has different points of view, what does it mean?

– We can say that the issue of trade is another issue. A special company is working on this issue; it is now working on agreeing on the price of gas. Now I supervise "upstream", that is exploration and development of deposits. We have another delegation.

– What work is being done to build a new thread of the main gas pipeline from the Galkynysh field?

- The question of the construction of the fourth line of the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline is very difficult, because it passes through the territory of five countries. And, as I know, the work on coordination of this issue is still underway, it is not over. Therefore, indeed, the work is going slower than expected.

- What does that have to do with?

– This is due to the coordination of cooperation between the five countries.

- How do you evaluate the TAPI gas pipeline construction project?

– I am very closely monitoring the TAPI project. In principle, we support the diversification of gas exports from Turkmenistan. And we believe that the direction of exports from Turkmenistan is most useful to maintain the maximum use of gas in Turkmenistan. Needs in different markets are also at the heart of gas pricing. On the part of CNPC, we also support the construction of this gas pipeline.

- What projects does your company plan to implement in Turkmenistan in the future?

– First of all, it should be said that Turkmenistan is a very important region for cooperation. And it, as I said, has been going on for 10 years. For "upstream", in which we want to invest in addition to the existing Bagtyyarlyk project, we are actively looking for new projects, including cooperation with the SC "Turkmengas" and "Turkmennebit" and other investors in Turkmenistan. We are interested in not only the projects for the "upstream", but in "housestream" ‑ gas chemistry and gas processing. In all, we have a desire to expand cooperation not only in the gas, but also in the oil industry.

– Some media have published information about PetroChina's debt to Turkmenistan, please comment on it.

- Regarding the information about “PetroChina's” debt to Turkmenistan, unfortunately I can't explain it to you very accurately, because these issues are supervised by another company under CNPC. But this question does exist, and it is related to the gas price.

- What do you mean, the price specified in the contract were changed? Did it drop?

- No, there's just no exact price. Unfortunately, I do not supervise this issue. Basically, I supervise the implementation and investment of "upstream" projects.

– If a businessman in any of the countries asked you about cooperation with Turkmenistan, what would you advise him?

- Turkmenistan is very rich in natural resources. And if Turkmenistan had developed a complete policy for investment, then investment could be made faster. So do I as the investor consider this question.

- Do you often visit Turkmenistan? Your personal impression. Do you like it? 

- I visited Turkmenistan several times. I personally felt the development of the country. Your capital is very beautiful, especially in the evening, when a lot of light, electric lightings are turned on. It made a great impression on me. And the Turkmen people are very hospitable. I believe that under the leadership of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov your country will develop very quickly.

– What became the most memorable in Turkmenistan?

– I was very impressed by the development of the country's infrastructure, very rapid development. 

- Thank you for the interview.

Ussa Ussayev, chief editor of "Nebit-gaz".

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