By Aynur Jafarova
Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) will launch a new project in 2015 to develop three gas-condensate fields discovered recently in Uzbekistan, a representative of the Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company told Trend Agency on December 25.
Around $277.32 million are planned to be invested in the project to develop Dengizkul, Khojadavlat and East Alat fields until 2020 and $50 million in 2015.
One billion cubic meters of gas is expected to be produced in the fields per year after the project completion.
CNPC and Uzbekneftegaz established the New Silk Road Oil & Gas Company Ltd to implement the project in October 2013.
Currently, Uzbek government are studying the project. A funding line will be opened and the first tenders will be announced for sub-contract work in 2015.
In June 2006, the China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corporation (CNODC), a subsidiary of CNPC, signed an agreement with Uzbekneftegaz to conduct geological exploration on five investment blocks within the Ustyurt, Bukhara-Khiva and Fergana oil and gas regions.
In 2011, the Chinese company fulfilled a 2D-3D exploration program with drilling 13 exploration wells. The total investment volume amounted to $260.2 million. As a result, three fields, promising for industrial gas production, were discovered in the Karakul block.
CNODC and Uzbekneftegaz signed an additional agreement in 2012 to extend the exploration work with an investment volume of $14.9 million for three years.
Uzbekistan and China are developing cooperation in a number of sectors including oil, gas, petrochemical, chemical, and mining industries, as well as transport and logistics, manufacturing, telecommunications, production of electrical technology, and modern construction materials.
China is one of Uzbekistan's largest trade partners. The trade volume between the two countries has increased by almost 6 times in the past 6 years, amounting to $5.2 billion in 2013. This figure stood at $2.163 billion in the first half of 2014.
Some 482 joint ventures with the Chinese capital, as well as the representative offices of more than seventy Chinese companies, are operating in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan and China are implementing the projects in the energy sector by investing $2.8 billion. Some $2.5 billion or 90 percent of this amount are direct investments.
The Chinese companies are also involved in the exploration and exploitation of deposits of hydrocarbons, uranium, and other precious materials, as well as the gas chemical complex in Mubarek and other high-tech industries in Uzbekistan.