By Nigar Abbasova
Energy-rich Uzbekistan, which currently ranks the 19th in the world for the volume of its proven gas reserves, is currently engaged in gas sale talks with Russia.
The issue was on the highest agenda during the meeting between Gazprom’s head Alexey Miller and chairman of the Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company (NHC) Alisher Sultanov in Moscow, September 13. The sides discussed bilateral cooperation between the countries, the issue of purchase of Uzbek gas by the Russian side, as well as implementation of investment projects in Uzbekistan. Russia’s energy giant Gazprom earlier announced its plan to increase gas purchase from Uzbekistan in 2016
The contract with Uzbekneftegas was signed on the background of the escalation of relationships between Gazprom and Turkmengas. The companies argued about the price of Turkmen gas for the Russian company and Gazprom stopped buying Turkmen gas in early 2016.
Gazprom launched implementation of projects in Uzbekistan in December 2002, following the agreement on strategic cooperation in the gas industry with Uzbekneftegaz. Joint development of the Shakhpakhty field, which was put into operation in April 1971, became a pioneer project.
Gazprom also implements a number of projects in the sphere of exploration of hydrocarbon fields in Ustyurt region, located not far from the Shakhpakhty block. The sides entered into the agreement on the basic principles for geological exploration of the investment blocks in the Ustyurt region in January 2006. Jel gas and condensate field was discovered by Gazprom as a result of the exploration work implemented in Ustyurt. Gazprom carried out supplementary exploration of the Jel field in 2012 and determined the existence of some 14 productive horizons.
Gazprom purchased some 6.38 bcm of Uzbek gas in 2015, while about 3.5 bcm of the volume was delivered to far abroad, 2.9 bcm to Kazakhstan and 20 mcm to Kyrgyzstan.
Being created in 1998, Uzbekneftegaz national holding company is considered to be a monopoly operator of oil and gas complex in Uzbekistan
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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