Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia have discovered 29 sources of methane leaks in oil and gas fields located on the Caspian coast in the Balkan province. All of them are developed by the state-owned companies "Turkmengas" and "Turkmenneft". This was reported by Bloomberg .
From January 2017 to November 2020, 944 cases of leaks were registered. Of the 29 sources, 24 were extinguished flares, which burn associated gases and which, for unclear reasons, did not burn. Such flares are used to prevent the release of methane into the atmosphere, which, when burned, breaks down into steam and carbon dioxide, which is 84 times less of a weak greenhouse gas.
In other cases, the sources of leaks, most likely, were leaky pipes.
The study emphasizes that no such leaks have been found in fields developed by foreign private companies.
The Turkmen state-owned companies Turkmengas and Turkmenneft, as well as the country's Foreign Ministry, ignored written appeals and phone calls from experts regarding methane emissions.
Every year in the west of Turkmenistan, greenhouse gases are emitted from leaks comparable to the emissions of all cars in the US state of Alabama. The researchers argue that they are due to outdated infrastructure and that leaks can be easily avoided by improving the quality of equipment maintenance.
In October 2021, Bloomberg wrote that in 2020, Turkmenistan was second only to the United States and Russia in terms of methane emissions. However, this study argues that Turkmenistan is not in third, but in fifth place after Russia, the United States, Iran and Iraq.
During a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan on January 28 this year, Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov reported to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on the development of a document that provides for measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Turkmenistan by 2030. What exactly is not specified.
About a month ago, the head of state ordered to put out the gas crater Darvaza, also known as the "Gates of Hell", located in the Karakum Desert, and export the gas coming out of the source. How it is planned to collect the gas rising to the surface and whether the crater will become another source of methane emission remains unclear.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan