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Friday, January 30, 2009

Gazprom, Lukoil hail results of talks with Uzbek partners

TASHKENT, Jan 28, 2009 (AsiaPulse via COMTEX) - LUKOIL and Gazprom assess highly results of cooperation and current talks with Uzbekistan's partners in the sphere of energy resources, chief executives of Russia's two biggest energy sector companies said on Friday. They are members of a delegation that accompanied Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev in the course of his two-day official visit to Uzbekistan. "We have reached really commercial principles of interaction in the gas sector," Chief Executive Officer of Russia's gas giant Gazprom Alexei Miller said, commenting on a gas purchasing contract and the pricing formula drafted by the two countries. "In addition, we intensively cooperate in geological surveying. And, I should say, we have good prospects in the area of natural gas production in Uzbekistan," he said. Miller is confident, "our cooperation is developing in all spheres in the gas sector." According to LUKOIL President Vagit Alekperov, "we have already gotten close to the target level of gas production at our first project, Khauzak-Shady, which is estimated at three billion cubic metres of natural gas a year." "We have concluded a contract with Gazprom, that is, we sell gas to Gazprom," he said. "The company has already invested more than US$0.5 billion in the project," Alekperov said. "At present, touching upon development of our projects during the talks here, we surely bear in mind one of the biggest undeveloped deposits, Kandym," Alekperov said. On Wednesday, LUKOIL's CEO was received by Uzbeki President Islam Karimov on the eve of the current state visit of the Russian president. Back then, the sides stressed that energy cooperation would be in the focus of Friday's talks. Karimov said, in turn, that Russia's largest oil producing LUKOIL company is one of Uzbekistan's reliable partners, while "fuel and energy sector is one of the most important spheres of the trade, economic and investment cooperation between Russia and Uzbekistan." Alekperov, for his part, expressed gratitude to the Uzbeki partners "for special attention to the cooperation with LUKOIL," the press service of the Uzbeki head of state said. During the meeting "the sides discussed further development of cooperation between companies of Uzbekistan and LUKOIL," the press service said, adding that the interlocutors also "considered progress in the implementation of joint projects, and opportunities for the drafting and fulfilment of new projects." Russia's energy companies take an active part in geological surveying and developing deposits of energy resources in that Central Asian republic, the press service said. In particular, in 2004 the National Holding Company Uzbekneftegaz and Russia's LUKOIL signed an agreement on investment of more than US$3 billion in the development of the Uzbeki oil and gas sector. A mission of the Russian company opened in Tashkent. In addition, a subsidiary LUKOIL Overseas Uzbekistan, which is engaged in the implementation of Kandim-Khauzak-Shodi-Kongirat project, was created in that former Soviet republic, the press service said. In 2007, bilateral cooperation yielded first tangible results a Bukhara-located Khauzak gas deposit was put into operation, reported. All in all, 180 wells are planned to be drilled within the framework of the Kandim-Khauzak-Shodi-Kongirat project, as well as more than 1,500 kilometres of gas pipes will be laid down, the press service said. The project capacity of the deposit is more than 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year. A gas refinery will be built in the format of the project. The refinery's annual capacity is eight billion cubic metres of gas, the press service said.
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