The OGT 2022 Conference and Expo launched in Ashgabat
The plenary session of the OGT 2022 will be on “The Future of Energy -- New Challenges and Opportunities.” It will open with an address of an Honorary Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, Shahym Abdrahmanov, followed by the keynote speech of the State Minister – Chairman of the State Concern “Turkmengas.” It will also include speeches and presentations of such industry leaders as Rovshan Najaf, the President of SOCAR, George Chikovani, the General Director of the Oil and Gas Corporation of Georgia, and Dmitry Shlapachenko, the UN Resident Coordinator for Turkmenistan. Along with these leaders, the President of CNPC Hou Qijun, the Head of Regions of IRENA Dr. Binu Parthan, and the Secretary General of the Energy Charter Guy Lentz will present online to an audience of more than 500 delegates.
The following two sessions of the Conference will be dedicated to the unveiling of investment opportunities in and summary presentations of geophysical assessments of both the onshore and offshore energy sectors of Turkmenistan. While the first session will discuss mainly the offshore investment opportunities in the Turkmen shelf of the Caspian Sea, the second one will be on the onshore and new gas chemical projects open to foreign investments.
As an energy-rich country, Turkmenistan is active not only in the production and export of oil and gas but also it is earnestly cooperating with international organizations in the global efforts to reduce methane emissions to the Earth’s atmosphere. The country-wide effort is substantiated by the President of Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdimuhamedov who informed the world leaders during the 26th session of the UN Climate Conference about the country’s openness to working with “the Global Methane Commitment Initiative.”[i] The country-wide commitment to mitigating the negative impacts of climate change is also by “the initiative of Turkmenistan to establish the Regional Center for Climate Change Technologies for Central Asian countries in Ashgabat” in cooperation with the United Nations.[ii]
Taking a cue from both global and country-wide efforts, the OGT 2022 has also dedicated three of its sessions to the theme of new and innovative energy systems titled: “New Era Energy – Prospects for Domestic and Regional Development,” “Environmental Aspects of Hydrocarbon Development,” and “Innovative Technologies and Know-How in Oil and Gas Science and Education.” The main speakers of these sessions are Francois Sammut, the director of Carbon Limits, Kamel Ben-Naceur, the President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and Lonnie Tiegs, the Director of Ovolifts.
Around 40 representatives from more than 30 media entities will participate in the OGT 2022 to report on its progress to audiences not only in Turkmenistan but all over the world. The impressive list of media representatives includes writers and editors of global oil and gas analytics such as Argus Media, S&P Global Commodity Insights, Natural Gas World, China Daily, Interfax, Tass News Agency, and Belorussian News Agency. Till the start of the OGT 2022, dozens of news snippets were published to spread the message of the OGT 2022 to audiences beyond Turkmenistan. For instance, widely read news sites such as ORIENT.TM[iii], Natural Gas World[iv], and Central Asia News[v] have posted the press release of the Conference so that people who will not be able to attend the OGT will still be able to learn about its mission and progress.
For the OGT 2022, the organizing committee has arranged round-trip charter flights in the Dubai-Ashgabat-Dubai route to help more than 100 delegates come to Ashgabat at a time when international travel is barely recovering from the Covid-19 break. More than 500 foreign and local delegates of international organizations, diplomatic missions, and international and national companies residing in Turkmenistan will also attend both the Conference and Expo. The delegates represent more than 200 companies from 45 countries. Of those who could not join the OGT 2022 in person, around 100 are expected to tune in online via the Zoom link. In addition, more than 50 energy companies will be represented at the Expo.
In his address at an event analogous to the OGT 2022 – World Gas Conference 2022 in Daegu, Korea – Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the former UN Secretary-General cautioned that “time was running out to address greenhouse emissions” while emphasizing “that natural gas could help drive down greenhouse gas emissions … when coupled with carbon capture and storage [making it] an even cleaner energy source.”[vi]
The oil and gas industry is like a double-edged sword, how we produce and use them can have either mitigating or deteriorating effects on the environment. So for the following three days, the OGT 2022 will promote the efficient production and consumption of oil and gas by giving a platform to experts, decision-makers, and industry leaders to present and exchange their ideas, expertise, and experience.