Turkmen president sacks several energy chiefs

ASHGABAT: The president of resources-rich Turkmenistan has sacked several top officials in the energy sector, denouncing their "irresponsible approach" to their jobs, the official news agency reported.

At a meeting with the central Asian republic's heads of oil and gas companies, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov "noted with regret that an irresponsible approach by certain leaders to their jobs caused a number of deficiencies and negligences" in their work, the agency said Monday.

Berdymukhamedov dismissed the head of public company Turkmenneftegazstroy along with the chiefs of the country's state gas and oil enterprises, Turkmenneft and Turkmengaz.

The president criticised the "poor construction quality" of Turkmenistan's energy installations, delays in providing gas to towns and villages, and the absence of "needed measures to increase oil production."

Turkmenistan, a reclusive country on the Caspian Sea which has huge gas reserves, has been wooed by Western nations, China and Russia in their race for new resources.