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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08ASHGABAT326 2008-03-10 11:41:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ashgabat
Cable title:  

TURKMENISTAN: FIRST PHASE OF USTDA TRAINING A

Tags:   PREL PGOV EPET EAID TX 
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VZCZCXRO0196
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAH #0326 0701141
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101141Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0410
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 0260
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3483
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1301
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR PRIORITY 0069
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0028
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1168
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 1737
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC PRIORITY
					  UNCLAS ASHGABAT 000326 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB
PLEASE PASS TO USTDA DAN STEIN
ENERGY FOR EKIMOFF/THOMPSON
COMMERCE FOR HUEPER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV EPET EAID TX
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN: FIRST PHASE OF USTDA TRAINING A
BIG SUCCESS




1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Not for public Internet.



2. (U) Two officials from Turkmenistan's State Agency for
Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources, including the
deputy and another high-ranking official, were extremely
enthusiastic about the just-completed first phase of USTDA
training. The two officials on March 5 told the USTDA
contractor who had carried out a definitional mission for
Turkmenistan's hydrocarbon agencies that the training had
more than met their expectations. If anything, the program
was "too large" in scope. Officials look forward to learning
more -- and in greater depth -- in follow-on phases. They
commented that the instructors were solid, reputable and
knowledgeable, adding with appreciation that the instructors
had followed up and answered every question, even though in
some cases they had been unable to respond to questions
outside their immediate purview until after they had returned
home and researched the answer. Even when urged not to be
"polite," the two officials (both of whom had participated in
the first-phase training) failed to come up with anything
other than very minor, cosmetic-style suggestions for
improvement.



3. (U) According to the officials, the New York Mercantile
Exchange (NYMEX) lecture was very well received, and they
said that it was helpful learning more about how Platts sets
energy prices, since the State Agency uses Platts for
production sharing agreement (PSA) negotiations. But, they
added, futures contract prices are fairer than Platts prices,
since Platts bases its prices on only one or two shipments.
They then proceeded to follow and participate intelligently
in a technical discussion with the consultant on the best
Platts price to use when calculating a fair price for
Turkmenistan's gas. The consultant suggested that it might
be helpful for the officials attending the next phase of
training to visit Platts in New York to better understand
what factors Platts relies on in setting energy prices.



4. (SBU) COMMENT: The USTDA training is continuing to
receive top marks from participants -- including from State
Agency Executive Director Muradov, who sat in on several of
the training sessions. The best yardstick to measure the
program's success, however, is the fact that these officials
managed to hold their own in the March 5 discussion on
setting energy prices. Just a few weeks ago, they would have
become lost in this conversation. And, although we have
heard that some participants did better than others in
sessions, our impression is that the training overall was
right on the mark. While even State Agency officials
acknowledge that they still need a lot more training before
they will feel comfortable going head-to-head with experts
who have been at this game much longer than they have, they
now seem to have a much better sense of what they know -- and
what they don't -- and where to go for the answers they need.
END COMMENT.
HOAGLAND