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USTDA FUNDS OIL AND GAS TRAINING IN TURKMENISTAN

ASHGABAT, TURKMENISTAN (February 29, 2008) – Equipping the Government of Turkmenistan with tools to properly regulate the licensing of offshore hydrocarbon resources, is the focus of a multi-stage training program for the State Agency for Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources in Turkmenistan (SAMUHR). The USTDA-funded training includes a wide range of topics that need to be considered when managing oil and gas licensing and negotiating production sharing agreements (PSAs). The first stage of training took place this week in Ashgabat. Taylor-DeJongh of Washington, D.C., Baker & McKenzie, LLP of Chicago, Illinois, Granherne Inc. of Houston, Texas, and NuTech of Humble, Texas, are contributing their technical expertise to the successful training programs that are taking place in Ashgabat and throughout the United States.

"USTDA is pleased to support the Government of Turkmenistan's efforts to build capacity in the oil and gas sector," said USTDA Acting Director Leocadia Zak. "Not only will this training program help the Government of Turkmenistan to negotiate more favorable PSAs, it will also help to create business opportunities for U.S. companies with the capacity to extract hydrocarbon reserves from technically challenging fields."

The Government of Turkmenistan formally requested USTDA assistance with an oil and gas training program last September during a USTDA-sponsored reverse trade mission for Turkmen officials. Both the trade mission and the current training program aim to help the Government of Turkmenistan open new export routes, develop new oil and gas production and increase production in existing, technically challenging fields, and obtain better prices for its hydrocarbon resources.

"The USTDA oil and gas training program is an important example of increasing U.S.-Turkmenistan cooperation in the energy sector," noted Ambassador Steven Mann, U.S. Coordinator for Eurasian Energy Diplomacy. "By equipping Turkmen officials with the information they need to successfully execute PSAs, we are opening new avenues for investment in the exploration and production of oil and gas in Turkmenistan, and ultimately enhancing worldwide energy security."

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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