TASHKENT (TCA) — Russian gas giant Gazprom in 2016 will increase natural gas purchases from Uzbekistan, Russia’s TASS news agency reported citing Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller.
“We highly estimate results of negotiations with our Uzbek friends. Uzbekistan is our reliable partner in the gas sphere and we will continue developing our mutually beneficial cooperation. And, quite naturally, purchases of Uzbek gas will be increased this year,” Miller said commenting on agreements with Uzbekistan reached late in December.
TASS earlier reported citing a source in Gazprom that purchases of Uzbek gas in 2016 may exceed 3.1 billion cubic meters.
Since 2006 Gazprom has been developing gas fields in Uzbekistan’s Ustyurt region. Between 2006 and 2013, the Russian company invested $383 million in geological exploration in the area.
Uzbekistan is the third-largest gas producer in the CIS and among the world’s top 10 largest gas-producing countries (63-65 billion cubic meters per year).
The government of Uzbekistan is increasing gas exports while the country’s population is experiencing regular gas shortages during the winter season.
In the meantime, Turkmenistan’s state natural-gas company Turkmengas on January 4 said that Russia’s Gazprom Export, the export arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom, had notified Turkmengas of a decision to terminate purchases of Turkmen natural gas in January 2016.
“The decision is due to the changed situation in the international gas market, as well as certain economic and financial issues facing Gazprom Export,” the Turkmen gas company said.
Turkmengas also said it is ready for negotiations with Gazprom Export on “a wide range of issues related to economic ties between the two companies”.