Central Asia | Stalled pipeline now a matter of urgency for Turkmenistan

Stalled pipeline now a matter of urgency for Turkmenistan

Country's economic future hinges on making 22-year-old multi-billion dollar project a success, but significant obstacles lie in wait

May 11, 2017 1:36 PM (UTC+8)
A picture taken on May 3, 2014, shows people visiting "The Gateway to Hell," a huge burning gas crater in the heart of Turkmenistan's Karakum desert. The fiery pit was the result of a simple miscalculation by Soviet scientists in 1971 after their boring equipment suddenly drilled through into an underground cavern and a deep sinkhole formed. Fearing that the crater would emit poisonous gases, the scientists took the decision to set it alight, thinking that the gas would burn out quickly. More than 45 years later, the flames are still burning, which gives some indication of Turkmenistan's vast gas reserves. Photo: AFP / Igor Sasin
A picture taken on May 3, 2014, shows people visiting "The Gateway to Hell," a huge burning gas crater in the heart of Turkmenistan's Karakum desert. The fiery pit was the result of a simple miscalculation by Soviet scientists in 1971 after their boring equipment suddenly drilled through into an underground cavern and a deep sinkhole formed. Fearing that the crater would emit poisonous gases, the scientists took the decision to set it alight, thinking that the gas would burn out quickly. More than 45 years later, the flames are still burning, which gives some indication of Turkmenistan's vast gas reserves. Photo: AFP / Igor Sasin