Not to be confused with the Balkans, a region in southern Europe.
Balkan Province (Turkmen: 'Balkan welaýaty') is one of the Welayat (provinces) of Turkmenistan. It is in the far west of the country, bordering Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, and Iran. Its capital is Balkanabat, formerly known as Nebit Dag. It has an area of 139,270 square kilometers and a population of approximately 553,500 people (2005 est.). Its population density of 3.3 persons per square kilometer is the lowest in Turkmenistan.
Balkan Province has significant energy reserves, which account for 94% of Turkmenistan's natural gas production and 12% of its petroleum production. It also generates 18% of the country's electric power. Due to the very low water supply, agriculture is negligible, and only 4.5% of Turkmenistan's arable lands are within the province.
Off its Caspian shores the Balkan Province includes the island of Ogurja Ada, the most important island in Turkmenistan and one of the largest in the Caspian Sea.