By Kamila Aliyeva
Natural gas production in Uzbekistan increased by 7.1 percent in January 2018 up to 5.09 billion cubic meters compared to the same period in 2017, according to the Uzbek State Statistics Committee.
The extraction of natural gas stood at the level of 4.75 billion in January 2017.
At the same time, the Central Asian country reduced oil production by 8.2 percent to 63,300 tons in January 2018 compared to 69,000 tons in January last year.
In January 2018, Uzbekistan also produced 193,900 tons of gas condensate compared to 152,200 tons in January 2017, thus showing an increase of 27.4 percent.
The output of diesel fuel went down by 21.9 percent in the reporting period and amounted to 71,500 tons.
At the same time, Uzbekistan increased production of motor gasoline up to 105,000 tons in January 2018. This represents an increase of 15.4 percent compared to the same period in 2017.
Natural gas production in Uzbekistan amounted to 56.417 billion cubic meters in 2017. Meanwhile, the country reduced oil production by 6.3 percent to 806,000 tons in 2017.
Over the past few years, Uzbekistan has been systematically facing an acute shortage of gasoline and some other petroleum products.
In Uzbekistan in 2010-2016, gasoline production decreased by 26.2 percent, diesel fuel - by 8.3 percent, while imports of hydrocarbons increased 1.3 times.
The total capacity of the three refineries currently reaches about 10 million tons, but due to a significant reduction in the reserves of raw materials in the country's active fields, the volumes of extraction of “black gold” and gas condensate are steadily declining.
The loading of the production capacities of the republican refineries reaches, in total, only 60 percent. To ensure their full supply from this year, the Uzbek authorities intend to import oil from Kazakhstan and Russia - up to 1 million tons in total.
On November 20, Kazakh company Kaztransoil began shipping Russian oil to Uzbekistan. Oil is pumped via the KazTransOil pipeline system en route Omsk-Pavlodar-Shymkent- Shagyr oil loading point, from where it is poured into railway tanks and then transported by rail to Uzbekistan.
In late April 2017, Uzbekistan started construction of a new refinery in Zafarobod district of the country’s Jizzakh region, which is expected to operate using the crude imported from Kazakhstan and Russia.
The refinery has design capacity of processing of five million tons of oil per year, production of 3.7 million tons of car fuel, over 700,000 tons of aviation fuel and 300,000 tons of associated oil products.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz