Is Chevron One Step Closer to “doing Some Good” in Turkmenistan?

Earlier this week, the President of Turkmenistan announced a short list of companies from whom his country will accept proposals to develop two offshore blocks in the Caspian Sea.1 Since President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov came to power nearly four years ago, Turkmenistan’s vast hydrocarbon reserves have been the source of intense lobbying by petroleum giants from around the globe.

Remarks from Crude Accountability’s Michelle Kinman to former Senator and newly approved Chevron Board Member Chuck Hagel

Turkmenistan is one of the world’s most repressive countries, consistently receiving the lowest ranking of “not free” in Freedom House’s assessment of global political rights and civil liberties across 193 countries. If Chevron engages with a repressive regime such as Turkmenistan to secure hydrocarbons without first insisting on significant, demonstrable improvements in human rights, transparency and rule of law, it will strengthen anti-democratic tendencies and stifle the development of an already severely compromised civil society, as it has in Burma, Nigeria, Columbia and in numerous other countries around the world.