Ashgabat 2017 has signed a deal with the China National Petroleum Corporation ©Ashgabat 2017

The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has become the latest official partner of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat.

It means that the energy giant, China's largest oil and gas producer and supplier, will play a key role at the event in Turkmenistan's capital.

Dayanch Gulgeldiyev, chairman of the AIMAG Executive Committee, welcomed the news.

"We are absolutely delighted to have CNPC on board as an official partner," he said.

"It is great to have yet another global brand join the Ashgabat 2017 family which continues to grow, demonstrating what a truly world class event the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will be."

The CNPC has been operating in Turkmenistan for 10 years, supporting cultural, educational, medical and sporting programmes.

They have signed sponsorship deals with sports including football, hockey and taekwondo. 

In 2008, CNPC was the official oil and gas partner of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

This saw the company provide fuel for venues in the Chinese capital, as well as for the Torch Relay.

Ashgabat 2017 will feature 21 sports across 15 venues ©Ashgabat 2017
Ashgabat 2017 will feature 21 sports across 15 venues ©Ashgabat 2017

"Ashgabat 2017 is another clear demonstration of the tremendous contribution Turkmenistan has been making in the global sports movement," said CNPC IT director general Lee Shulan. 

"We are extremely excited to be a part of this world class sporting event."

The deal with CNPC follows Mastercard joining the Games as an official supporter earlier this month.

National carrier Turkmenistan Airlines also signed on as an official partner in July.

Ashgabat 2017 is set to feature 21 sports in 15 venues during 12 days of competition.

More than 8,000 athletes and guests are expected at the event, which is scheduled to take place from September 17 to 27.