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Ashgabat to Launch Field

DUBAI — Turkmenistan aims to start production by July at the Galkynysh natural gas field, the world's second largest, its minister of oil and gas said as the country seeks to boost exports of the fuel and diversify its markets.

"In June-July we should start operating," Mukhammednur Halylov told a conference in Dubai on Wednesday. He did not give further details.

The Central Asian country plans to build two pipelines to carry gas from the field, one to Pakistan and India and the other crossing the Caspian Sea en route to the European Union, easing the bloc's dependence on Russian gas.

Auditor Gaffney, Cline & Associates has estimated reserves at the Galkynysh field at between 13.1 trillion and 21.2 trillion cubic meters, by far the country's biggest field.

(Reuters)

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