Uzbekistan plans $36 billion worth of projects in hydrocarbon exploration, production and deep processing

TASHKENT (TCA) — On November 20, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting to discuss the state of affairs in the country’s oil and gas industry and its further development, the Jahon information agency reported.

The oil and gas industry is a key source of raw materials for production of polymers, organic chemicals and nitrogen fertilizers necessary for many sectors of the economy.

Over the past two years, as a result of measures taken in the industry, natural gas production increased by 10 percent, natural gas supply increased by 15 percent, and liquefied gas by 1.6 times.

During this period, the country’s oil refineries produced an additional 204 thousand tons of petroleum products, and the domestic market’s demand for petrol and diesel fuel is fully satisfied.

In the current year, polyethylene and polypropylene were produced at Shurtan and Ustyurt gas chemical plants, the added value of which is 4 times higher than the cost of natural gas by almost $700 million.

For further development of the oil and gas sector until 2030, Uzbekistan plans to implement 30 investment projects worth $36.5 billion in geological exploration, production and deep processing of hydrocarbons.

It was noted at the meeting that if specific measures will not be taken to increase hydrocarbon reserves, the existing reserves will be halved over the next 10-15 years.

In this regard, the Uzbekneftegaz national oil and gas company was instructed to expand geological exploration and increase production volumes, modernize existing and open new fields, deeply process oil and gas resources, and expand investment attraction. Instructions were given for broader attraction of investors to exploration and production based on international experience, development of new mechanisms aimed at ensuring equal protection of the interests of the state and investors.

At the same time, instructions were given to submit, by the end of this year, proposals for implementation and financing of the second phase of the program for hydrocarbons extraction in 2017–2021.

Instruction was also given to organize a national oil and gas research institute, to pay special attention to development and implementation of innovative solutions for deep processing of hydrocarbons.

Sergey Kwan