Uzbekistan, China consider construction of new gas pipeline

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, August 2 / Trend D. Azizov /

Uzbekistan and China consider construction of a new pipeline designed to export gas from Central Asia to the Chinese market, Chinese Ambassador to Uzbekistan Yu Hongjun told Uzbek media.

The first line of Central Asia-China gas pipeline was opened in mid-December 2009. Total extension of Turkmenistan-China pipeline, construction of which was started in July 2009, makes up 7,000 km.

The extension of gas pipeline in Turkmenistan makes up 188 km, Uzbekistan - 525 km, Kazakhstan - 1,293 km and China - over 4,860 km.

Asia Trans Gas, an Uzbek-Chinese joint venture, is working on construction of the second line of the Uzbek part of Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline in 2010.

Asia Trans Gas JV was founded on an equal footing with Uzbekneftegaz national holding company and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), to deign, construct and exploitation the Uzbek part of Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline.

In line with the Uzbek-Chinese intergovernmental agreement, Uzbekistan will supply China 10 billion cubic meters of gas a year.

The pipeline was laid in three regions - Bukhara, Kashkadarya and Navoi regions and connected with Kazakhstan's gas transportation system. The cost of the Uzbek part of the pipeline is $3 billion. The second line of the pipeline will be completed by the end of 2010.

CNPC Silk Road is a subsidiary of China National Corporation for the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas (CNODC) with full Chinese capital. It started the implementation of the agreement signed in 2006 between the NHC and CNODC, to implement exploration on five investment blocs in 2007. The total amount of investments for exploration over five years will amount to $208.5 million. About 15 exploration and 12 appraisal wells will be drilled. While discovering new deposits in the reclaimed areas, CNPC and Uzbekneftegaz will open a joint venture, which will be engaged in their development.

Uzbekistan ranks second among CIS countries on natural gas reserves. It is among the ten largest gas-producing countries. The country produces about 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually.

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