On the results of the visit of Gazprom’s delegation to Uzbekistan
A working visit of Gazprom’s delegation to the Republic of Uzbekistan took place today; the delegation was headed the Chairman of the Management Committee Alexey Miller. Alexander Ryazanov, the Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee, and Alexander Medvedev, the General director of Gazexport, came to Uzbekistan as members of the delegation.
In the course of the visit the delegation held meetings with the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, the Prime Minister of the Republic Utkir Sultanov and the management Uzbekneftegaz (Uzbek National Oil & Gas Holding Company). The main topics of the negotiations were as follows: development of strategic cooperation between Gazprom and Uzbekistan in the gas sector and the progress in implementation of the agreement between Gazprom and Uzbekneftegaz of December 17, 2002. The following issues were discussed:
Gazprom’s purchases natural gas in Uzbekistan. Since May 2003 the export of Uzbek gas to Russia was started under the contract between Gazexport and Uzbekneftegaz. The contract provides for delivery of 5 bcm of natural gas in 2003, and later on the volume of gas supply will be growing – up to 7 bcm in 2004 and up to 10 bcm/y beyond 2005. At the same time, Gazprom does not just imports natural gas but performs as an operator of gas transit through the territory of Uzbekistan. Negotiations are still under way concerning assigning this function to Gazprom for a mid-term period.
Cooperation in gas production in Uzbekistan on the PSC terms. The Prime Minster of Uzbekistan Utkir Sultanov signed an Order of the Cabinet of Ministers today; according to the order, a number of fields of the Ustyurt region of Uzbekistan may be developed on the production sharing contract terms. Basing on this document, the Chairman of the Management Committee of Gazprom Alexey Miller and the Uzbekneftegaz CEO Shavkat Mazhitov signed an Agreement on cooperation in exploration works and hydrocarbons production at the fields of Ustyurt region on the PSC terms. According to the plans, joint development of the fields in the region will enable to ensure gas production at the level of 2.5 bcm and up to 5 bcm/y in the following period. Moreover, the parties discussed the issues of preparation of the production sharing agreement concerning the Shakhpaty field.
Diagnostics of the gas mains. Gazprom is currently involved in this kind of business. The work will result in elaboration of the program of reconstruction and updating of the Central Asia – Center pipeline system. Maintaining and expansion of the gas transmission capacities in Uzbekistan will allow ensuring uninterruptible supply of the Uzbek gas to Russia and the transit of natural gas from Turkmenistan.
Updating the gas transmission capacities in the Central Asia – Center direction. Gazprom intends to carry out investments within the frames of this project and considers possible forms of its participation in the property of newly built and reconstructed facilities of the gas transmission infrastructure.
The parties also discussed the probability of new agreements in the framework of counter deliveries of the goods, equipment and services by the Russian party on account of partial payment for gas purchased by Gazprom. By the present day the parties signed agreements worth of US$ 60 million.
The parties also touched the issue of Gazprom’s participation in construction of underground gas storage facilities in the Republic, in training of Uzbek specialists on the basis of Gazprom’s training centers and in setting up a joint venture for manufacture of machine-building products, including gas equipment.
Natural gas total reserves in Uzbekistan exceed 6.25 trillion cubic meters, including those of industrial categories – 1.62 trillion cubic meters. Over 55 bcm of gas is produced in the Republic at present, 5 bcm of which is exported to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Natural gas export to Russia was started since May 2003.
Information Directorate, OAO Gazprom