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Black Gold - Turkmenistan

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Published on Aug 7, 2007

July 1995
Turkmenistan's massive oil and gas reserves are as yet untapped.


Produced by ABC Australia
Distributed by Journeyman Pictures


Credited with the potential to become another Kuwait there is one main stumbling block on Turkmenistan's road to instant wealth; it can't sell its oil to the rest of the world. International sanctions prevent the building of a pipeline through Iran and into Turkey. The USA Ambassador backs up claims that the country has a huge unrealised oil potential. Otherwise Turkmenistan's main exports are camels and pedigree race horses - often given as gifts to visiting dignitaries. One man already exploiting Turkmenistan's oil potential is former communist leader and self-styled President Saparmurat Niyazov Turkmenbashi. His personality cult and photograph appear everywhere; even at a folk music competition. He rejects a multi-party democracy as too unstable. We interview Turkmenistan's Vice Premier and look inside a country shaking off its communist isolation.

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