Turkmenistan is scrambling to diversify its export markets. The problem, however, is that China is the only major customer of Turkmenistan’s natural gas. Other Eurasian countries could emerge as larger buyers of Turkmenistan’s natural gas. Turkmenistan talks a big game about diversifying export markets for its natural gas, but China will be the only major customer for the foreseeable future. The scale of the quasi-monopsonistic reality that Ashgabat confronts was laid bare anew on June 18 in a speech President Serdar Berdymukhamedov gave in the Lebap province at the official opening of a gas storage facility built by the China National Petroleum Corporation, or CNPC. Berdymukhamedov talked fulsomely about the importance of the 1,830-kilometer Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline. “Since [the pipeline] was commissioned at the end of 2009, more than 334 billion cubic meters of natural gas have been supplied by Turkmenistan to China,” he said. “There are plans to […]