ASHGABAT, 28th January, 2016 (WAM) — Turkmengaz, the national gas company of Turkmenistan, plans to drill and complete the construction of nine new exploitation wells at Turkmenistan’s largest field, Galkynysh, in 2016, according to the Turkmen Oil and Gas Ministry.

It is expected that the exploitation of these wells will ensure further growth of extraction of natural gas as part of the first stage of the Galkynysh field development, Trend News Agency said, quoting a ministry statement.

“As part of the first stage of development of the Galkynysh field, Turkmengaz plans to construct 40 wells,” the statement said.

Turkmenistan, which has the fourth largest proven gas reserves in the world, is actively implementing an energy strategy aimed at increasing exports and diversifying its supply routes to the largest global markets, where the demand for energy resources is growing.

Being one of the key players in the gas market of the Caspian Sea region and Central Asia, Turkmenistan produces about 70-80 billion cubic meters of gas a year. It possesses some 17 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, with some estimates placing that figure upwards of 25 or 26 trillion cubic meters.