Contract on Uzbek gas supply to China signed (UPDATE)
The details were added (the first version was posted at 13:41)
Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Dec. 19 / Trend D. Azizov /
Uztransgaz, a division of the Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company which controls the movement of gas transportation and supply in Uzbekistan and the PetroChina International Company, a division of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a contract to supply Uzbek gas to China, a holding company spokesperson said. According to the press service, the export contract was signed in October this year and kept under wraps.
The contract was signed on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement on the principles of construction and operation of the Uzbekistan-China gas pipeline and the agreement of the basic conditions of the contract of purchase and sale of natural gas between Uzbekneftegaz and CNPC, signed this year.
The press office did not report either the term or volume of natural gas supplies envisaged by the export contract.
According to independent sources, gas supplies from Uzbekistan to China were to begin in 2012. Initially, natural gas from Uzbekistan will be supplied through the second branch of the gas pipeline. After the third branch is constructed, the technical possibilities for the export of Uzbek gas will significantly increase.
In accordance with the framework of the agreement, China plans to buy 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas in Uzbekistan annually.
It was previously reported that the construction of the site of the third branch of the gas pipeline, Central Asia - China in Uzbekistan was launched last Thursday.
The design capacity of the third branch line is 25 billion cubic metres of gas a year.
Gas deliveries are expected to begin through the third branch line in January 2014 reaching the planned capacity in December 2015.
The project will be financed by loans from the Chinese State Development Bank, as well as direct investments from the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
The first of the two branches was commissioned in Dec. 2009. The construction of the second branch was completed in 2010.
The gas pipeline is intended for export of natural gas from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to China.
Operator of the project on the Uzbek site is the Uzbek-Chinese joint venture Asia Trans Gas a creation of the National Holding Company Uzbekneftegaz and CNPC.
Uzbekneftegaz is a monopoly operator in the Uzbek oil and gas complex. It was established in 1998. It unites six joint stock companies. Uzbekistan ranks second in the CIS for natural gas production.