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Turkmenistan’s Gateway to Hell

  • Published
    15th Jan, 2022

Recently, Turkmenistan has decided to find a way to extinguish a fire in a huge natural gas crater, the Darvaza gas crater also known as the ‘Gateway to Hell’

About Darvaza Gas Crater

  • Located in the Karakum desert, 260 kilometers away from Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat, the crater has been burning for the last 50 years.
  • The crater has become a significant tourist attraction in the country. In 2018, the country’s president officially renamed it as the “Shining of Karakum”.
  • The details of the origin are not actually known but it has been said that the crater was created in 1971 during a Soviet drilling operation.
  • Soviet geologists were drilling for oil in the Karakum desert when they hit a pocket of natural gas by mistake, which caused the earth to collapse and ended up forming three huge sinkholes.
  • A sinkhole is a depression in the ground that has no natural external surface drainage.These are regions formed when underlying limestone bedrock is dissolved by groundwater.
  • Locals have also said that the crater was formed in the 1960s but wasn’t lit on fire until the 1980s.
  • It has also been said that since oil and gas were very expensive commodities during Soviet rule, the formation of the crater has remained a confidential piece of information.

Discuss Central Asia’s strategic attempt to achieve greater energy security over the years. (250 words)


  • Introduction- brief about Central Asia’s Oil and Gas reserve
  • Evolution over the years
  • Current Issues and Challenges
  • Impact on other major region of the world
  • Conclusion
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