Authorities of Turkmenistan introduced tougher measures for exports of fuel and energy starting on January 1, 2002. These new regulations, which concern contracts for sales of oil, oil products, natural and liquefied gas and electricity, were signed by Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov. According to new regulations, potential buyers should make an advanced payment (a pledge) simultaneously with submitting an application for taking part in a fuel and energy auction. In the event the purchase is delayed through the fault of buyers, advanced payments are not returned to the latter. The official seller of Turkmen fuel and energy will be Turkmenneftegaz, a state trading corporation. It was obliged to coordinate volumes, terms and basic prices of energy products with the government. Energy auctions will be organized and conducted every week by a supervisory council headed by a representative of the Turkmen government. This council will also control the implementation of contracts, the Trend agency reported.