Turkmenistan could halve methane emissions at no cost – UN official

More than half of Turkmenistan's methane emissions can be reduced at no net cost. This was stated by the economist of the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator Vladimir Valetka at a training on reducing methane emissions.

The training was organized by UNDP in Turkmenistan jointly with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), reported January 27 "Turkmenistan: the golden age." The event is aimed at taking strategic measures in the field of methane management and ways to reduce its emissions.

Valetka also noted that the country's estimated methane emissions of about 5 million metric tons in 2021 could be converted into 77 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity.

Earlier, Progress reported that in terms of methane emissions into the atmosphere, Turkmenistan is second only to Russia (the volume of emissions in 2021 was 14.3 tons), the United States (13.82 tons) and Iran (5.44 tons).

Climate change mitigation expert Olga Gasan-zade presented practices for reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas industry, as well as methods for detecting and measuring emissions.

Turkmenistan has one of the greatest potentials for low-cost reduction of methane emissions, added Dmitry Shlapachenko , UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan .

At the end of last year, NASA reported that sources in Turkmenistan were emitting 50.4 tons of methane per hour into the atmosphere. This figure is approximately equal to the volume of gas released from one of the largest accidents in the United States - a leak in Aliso Canyon in 2015.

In February 2022, Bloomberg found out that all fields on the Caspian coast where methane leaks were discovered are being developed by the state-owned companies Turkmengaz and Turkmenneft. Their reasons are called poor maintenance of oil and gas infrastructure, as well as the irresponsible attitude of workers to these problems.

From January 2017 to November 2020, 944 cases of leaks were registered. Of the 29 sources, 24 were extinguished flares that burn associated gases and which, for unclear reasons, did not burn. In some cases leaky pipes appeared to be the source of the leaks.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan