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Turkmenistan sacks oil chief for 'incompetence'

Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov (SUPPLIED)


The leader of energy-rich Turkmenistan has fired his oil and gas minister for incompetence, three months after appointing him.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov sacked the minister, Oraznur Nurmyradov, for "work deficiencies" and temporarily replaced him with his deputy, government daily Neutral Turkmenistan said.

"Certain chiefs of the oil and gas sector carry out their duties carelessly, showing passivity in resolving questions of the development of the sector," Berdymukhamedov said.

Turkmenistan, a Central Asian state with huge oil and gas reserves that have been eyed by China, Russia and the European Union, has repeatedly shaken up its energy chiefs under Berdymukhamedov's presidency.

Berdymukhamedov has sacked four oil and gas ministers since 2007, all of them for incompetence. Nurmyradov had been appointed in October during the last reshuffle.

Last week, Turkmenistan resumed exports of gas to Russia after a nine-month interruption caused by a pipeline explosion and punctuated by squabbling with Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom. The ex-Soviet republic inaugurated a new pipeline to Iran earlier this month, and in December it opened a major pipeline to China.


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