Add Turkmenistan to the lengthening list of countries doing loans-for-energy deals with Beijing. China will lend $3 billion to develop Turkmenistan’s South Yolotan natural gas field, one of the five largest in the world, Turkmen state media reported Saturday (via AFP). Work on a 7,000-kilometer pipeline from Turkmenistan to China, started in 2007, with the capacity to deliver 40 billion cubic meters of gas per year is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
In April, Kazakhstan struck a $10 billion deal with PetroChina’s parent CNPC. It followed similar deals in Brazil (also $10 billion), Venezuela ($4 billion) and Russia ($25 billion) as Beijing taps its foreign exchange reserves to buy energy assets. The Turkmenistan deal also gently loosens Russia’s grip on the central Asian country’s gas exports.