By Fatma Babayeva
Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR and Uzbekistan's Uzbekneftegaz national holding company have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop the cooperation in the energy sector, SOCAR reported on May 18.
The document was signed during the visit of SOCAR’s delegation to Tashkent.
The delegation which was led by the company’s president Rovnag Abdullayev took part in the 20th International Oil & Gas Exhibition of Uzbekistan (OGU 2016).
During the visit, Abdullayev held meetings with Gulomzhon Ibrahimov, Uzbekistan's First Deputy Prime Minister and Alisher Sultanov, head of the Uzbekneftegaz board.
The parties discussed the bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan and the prospects for expanding the relations in the energy sphere during the negotiations.
Following the meetings, the two sides concluded a MoU for joint exploration and development of oil and gas fields and other areas of prospective cooperation.
In the meantime, investments in the oil and gas industry of Uzbekistan experienced growth in 2016. Funds invested in the development and modernization of Uzbekistan’s oil and gas industry during 2016 increased by 8 percent compared to 2015 to $2.798 billion, according to Uzbekneftegaz.
Uzbekistan plans to implement projects on modernization of refining capacities, develop additional infrastructure of gas condensate fields and to introduce energy-saving equipment in enterprises of the company.
Uzbekistan will continue implementing 14 projects in 2016 with participation of foreign investments worth $16.3 billion.
Russian LUKOIL, South Korean Kogas and GS, Chinese CNPC, South African Sasol and US Honeywell are the active participants in Uzbekistan’s oil and gas sector.
By 2020, Uzbekistan plans to realize 38 projects in the oil and gas industry with the value of about $20.6 billion.
So far, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan have signed over 100 bilateral documents to date.
Uzbekistan mainly exports cars, buses, spare parts, equipment and agricultural products to Azerbaijan, while Azerbaijan, in its turn, exports chemical and oil industry products and equipment to Uzbekistan.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan stood at $61.512 million ($23.612 million – import, $37.9 million – export) in 2014, according to State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan.
Fatma Babayeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Fatma_Babayeva
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