Contact Information
Carel van Bylandtlaan 16, 2596 HR The Hague, The Netherlands

Postal Address
PO Box 162, 2501 AN The Hague, The Netherlands
T: +31 70 377 9111

744000 Turkmenistan, Ashgabat
Four Points Ak Altyn Hotel, Office Building, kv. 2
T: (99312) 511-951, 511-952
F: (99312) 511-952

History in Turkmenistan
Shell began negotiations with the Government of Turkmenistan shortly after the country became independent, with the hopes of securing production sharing agreements for several major gas fields and pipeline projects.[i] In 1997, Shell was awarded a contract to conduct a feasibility study for a gas pipeline that would start in eastern Turkmenistan and extend to Turkey and Europe, traveling through Iran.[ii] The proposed pipeline project was controversial given US sanctions on Iran, and the pipeline project was not realized. Similarly, Shell was to have participated in the Transcaspian pipeline project, which also did not materialize, “at least partly because of Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov’s demand for a down payment of $1 billion for permission for the project to begin.”[iii] In March 2003, Shell announced it would close its office in Turkmenistan, remaining an “observer” in the country.[iv]

Current Scope of Operations
Signaling its commitment to exploring operations in Turkmenistan, Shell has been a sponsor of the country’s major oil and gas exhibits for several years, most recently as a “Bronze Sponsor” of the 2010 Turkmenistan Gas Conference, a “Silver Sponsor” at the 2010 International Oil & Gas Conference, and a “Silver Sponsor” of the 2012 International Oil & Gas Conference.[v] Shell is a “Bronze Sponsor” of the next Turkmenistan Gas Conference, planned for May 2011.

In November 2010, Shell “and six other companies agreed to pay a combined $236 million to settle allegations that they or their contractors bribed foreign officials to smooth the way for importing equipment and materials into several countries,” including Turkmenistan.[vi] The settlement resulted from a three-year investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. [vii]


[i] APS Review Gas Market Trends, “Turkmenistan-Shell Projects,” 18 Sept. 2006, Accessed January 14, 2011.

[ii] APS Review Gas Market Trends, “Turkmenistan-The Shell Project,” 21 Sept. 1998, Accessed January 14, 2011.

[iii] Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, “Shell Closes Down in Turkmenistan,” 10 Apr. 2003, Accessed January 14, 2011.

[iv], “Shell to Exit Turkmenistan,” Mar. 2003, Accessed January 14, 2011.

[v] Accessed December 2, 2008; and 17th Turkmenistan International Oil and Gas Conference, “Sponsors,” Turkmenistan International Oil and Gas Conference; Accessed July 5, 2012.

[vi] Kara Scannell, “Shell, Six Other Firms Settle Foreign-bribery Probe,” Wall Street Journal, 5 Nov. 2010, January 14, 2011.

[vii] Scannell (2010).