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Hydrogen, Darvaza and green future – topics and headliners of the international forum in Ashgabat

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16 June 2022

"Environmental aspects of hydrocarbon development and prospects for the development of hydrogen energy" is the topic of an international conference to be held in Ashgabat next week, June 23.
The organizers of the event - the State Concerns Turkmenneft and Turkmengaz in partnership with the Turkmen Forum and with the support of the British company GaffneyCline – intend to draw attention to the discussion of one of the most pressing problems of humanity of industry leaders and key decision makers.
The global issue will have a local location - ways to solve it will be considered on the example of the opportunities of the Turkmen hydrocarbon sector and the real prospects of its "green" transformation. More than 30 authoritative speakers - representatives of the Government of Turkmenistan, heads of national and international oil and gas companies, energy corporations, research centers - will share expert opinions, analyze trends in the global hydrogen industry in terms of the deployment of innovative technologies in the energy complex of Turkmenistan.
The discussions will be held in line with the practical orientation: the organizers are focused on finding the most effective approaches to the ambitious tasks of the country in the field of creating a hydrogen industry and achieving goals for low-carbon development, including reducing methane emissions into the atmosphere.
In this context, a separate topic will be the management of the Darvaza gas crater. The most anticipated headliner here is Canadian researcher George Koronis, who became famous for undertaking an extreme expedition in 2013 and becoming the first person to set foot on the bottom of a flaming gas crater in the center of the Karakum Desert.
The main purpose of the expedition, funded by the National Geographic Society, was to collect soil samples from the bottom of the fiery crater in order to deliver them to a laboratory in Chicago and conduct DNA analysis and find out whether microbial life is possible in such conditions. It turned out that there are several types of unusual microorganisms at the bottom of the crater! According to the researchers, this may help in the search for life on other planets.
The expedition was a great success, and Koronis himself got into the Guinness Book of Records for descending to the bottom of the Darvaza crater, which has become the most popular, world-famous tourist attraction of Turkmenistan.
In January 2022, the government of Turkmenistan announced its intention to extinguish the crater in Darvaz, which had been burning for 5 decades, because of the environmental damage it causes.
The forum participants will also discuss innovations and know-how in the production of hydrocarbons and reduction of associated gas emissions, promotion of clean energy from renewable sources and new climate financing for the energy sector of Turkmenistan.
The impressive list of delegates includes representatives of well-known international companies such as CNPC, BP, SOCAR, Petronas, Areti, Mitro International, Buried Hill, NAPECO, Dragon Oil, ENI, Lukoil. International organizations showed interest in participating in the forum - the International Energy Agency, IRENA, the Global Gas Center, the Forum of Gas Exporting Countries, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Energy Charter Secretariat.
The meetings and panel discussions of the conference will be attended by representatives of the UN, OSCE and financial institutions - the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and diplomatic missions accredited in Turkmenistan.
Participation in the conference and business meetings during the event will improve delegates' understanding of potential investment opportunities in the field of renewable energy sources and diversification of Turkmenistan's energy sector towards more environmentally friendly energy.
The event will be held in a hybrid format - both in person and online - at the Yildiz Hotel in Ashgabat.
This representative event is planned to be held annually in order to strengthen cooperation between Turkmen state organizations and major oil and gas institutions of other countries, international organizations that unite the efforts of the world community in the field of environmental protection and building a green future.