World Bank Says Central Asia Natural Gas Supply-Demand Dynamics Unbalanced


The World Bank released a report on February 22nd entitled “Achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2060: A Sustainable Energy Future for Europe and Central Asia.” The report states that the countries of Central Asia will soon have to address a widening gap between the supply and demand of natural gas, as well as challenging decisions on a number of energy and environment fronts.

China is the primary destination of Central Asia’s substantial net gas exports, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for countries in the region to meet their own high domestic winter demand and fulfill their export obligations due to Central Asia’s increasing demand and stagnant gas production – especially in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

The natural gas supply and demand balance in Central Asia could be improved by the formation of a “gas troika,” which Russia has proposed to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, to move gas volumes between the three countries and to export to China. However, there are concerns about the dependability of Russian gas supplies, and the appalling condition of the countries’ Soviet-era gas pipeline infrastructure.

Furthermore, the report says, it’s feasible to replace coal in Kazakhstan and close the supply gap in Uzbekistan by boosting gas imports from Turkmenistan and launching a regional gas trade in Central Asia. The report also states that increasing demand in Central Asia will be met with increased gas volumes.

Times of Central Asia