By Kamila Aliyeva
Surhan Gas Chemical Operating Company has started construction of an appraisal well at the 25 Years of Independence field, which is already called the largest in Uzbekistan, aiming to confirm the availability of hydrocarbon reserves.
At present, the reserves of the field and the entire investment block - Uzbekistan Mustakilligi - are estimated at more than 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
The international drilling company ERIELL is involved as a drilling contractor with extensive experience in projects implementation in Central Asia, the Russian Federation and the Middle East.
For the construction of the well, a unique plant with increased load capacity has been manufactured to work in complex geological conditions of hydrogen sulfide aggression, anomalous reservoir pressure and temperature. The project services are provided by the leading international service contractors - Baker Hghes, Halliburton and NOV.
In addition to drilling the well, an environmental audit of the contractual area of the entire block is being conducted at the site. Work with international consultants on marketing research, conceptual design of the project and inventory audit has begun.
The implementation of the project will make a significant contribution to the country's economy, which, among other things, has a high social significance, as new jobs will be created within the framework of its implementation, modern production process technologies will be introduced, and a significant impetus will be given to the development of the region and the entire gas and chemical industry of Uzbekistan.
The operator's shareholders are Gas Project Development Central Asia AG (JV of Gazprombank and Gazprom), Uzneftegazdobycha (part of Uzbekneftegaz) and Altmax Holding Ltd.
The Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for the investment block Uzbekistan Mustakilligi was signed during the visit of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Russia last April.
The project of deposit development will be carried in two stages. After additional exploration and production organization it will become a resource base for the gas processing complex and gas chemical production (polyethylene, polypropylene, sulfur).
In the future, on the basis of the complex, it is planned to carry out deep processing of gas and the production of olefins (ethylene glycol, rubber, polyethylene terephthalate). The volumes of gas processing can be brought up to 2 billion cubic meters per year at the first stage and up to 4 billion cubic meters per year at the second stage.
The total investment under the agreement may reach 5.8 billion dollars, which will allow the investment project to become the largest in the modern history of Uzbekistan.
The project will be financed based on the principles of international project financing, involving major international financial institutions and export credit agencies.
There are five oil and gas regions - Ustyurt, Bukhara-Khiva, Surkhandarya, Hissar, and Fergana - and three promising ones -Khorezm, Middle Syr Darya and Zarafshan- in Uzbekistan.
Russia's LUKOIL and Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) are among the most heavily invested companies in Uzbekistan's oil and natural gas industries.
The export of Uzbek gas amounted to 11.4 billion cubic meters, including 5.6 billion cubic meters to Russia, 4.3 billion cubic meters to China, and 1.5 billion cubic meters to Kazakhstan in 2016.
Natural gas production in Uzbekistan increased by 0.5 percent in 2017 up to 56.417 billion cubic meters compared to 2016, according to the Uzbek State Statistics Committee.
The national operator for extraction and processing of hydrocarbon raw materials - Uzbekneftegaz - informed earlier that by the end of the current year the volume of natural gas production in the country could increase by 17 percent to the level of 2017, reaching a value of 66 billion cubic meters.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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