Korean KNOC completes geological exploration works in two projects in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Sept. 6 /Trend D.Azizov/

Korean KNOC (Korea National Oil Corporation) informed the Uzbek side about the completion of a minimum three-year geological exploration program at Chust-Pap and Namangan-Tergachin oil and gas blocks in Uzbekistan's Fergana region in August 2013, and its intention to terminate the investment agreement, a source in government circles told Trend on Friday.

KNOC also notified the republic's government about withdrawal from the Aral Sea Operating Company exploration consortium in the Uzbek part of the Aral Sea, where the company has 20 percent shares.

According to the source, it is expected that the agreement on exploration of Chust-Pap and Namangan-Tergachin investment blocks will be terminated till late 2013.

At the moment the consortium's member to which the share of the Korean company in the Aral project will pass is being decided.

The source did not comment on the reasons for investor's withdrawal from the project.

At the same time, KNOC will continue its geological exploration project in West Fergana and Chinabad investment blocks in the Fergana region, the work at which began in 2011, the source said.

In 2009 KNOC signed an agreement with Uzbekneftegaz to conduct geological exploration works on Chust-Pap and Namangan-Tergachin investment blocks.

The project was designed for five years with a total investment volume of $61 million.

For realization of the project the investor created the KNOC Fergana Operating Company.

The minimum work program was designed for three years, it was launched in August 2009 and completed in August 2013.

In 2010, the Korean company signed an agreement with Uzbekneftegaz to conduct exploration work on two more blocks of the Ferghana region - West Fergana and Chinabad blocks, over five years, with a total investment volume of $89.4 million.

The minimum three-year geological exploration program with investments in the amount of 29.4 million dollars was launched in August 2011 and should be completed in 2014.

Earlier it has been reported that in 2005, Uzbekneftegaz, Russian Lukoil, Malaysian Petronas, Korean KNOC and Chinese CNPC formed a consortium to implement the Aral project with equal shares of 20 percent.

In 2011, after Petronas' withdrawal from the consortium, its share was distributed among other participants of the project.

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