Uzbekistan, Tajikistan eye resumption of gas supplies
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.3
By Nigar Guliyeva - Trend:
The national companies of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, "Uztransgaz" and "Tajiktransgaz", are considering the technical possibilities of resuming Uzbek gas supplies to Tajikistan, Tajik media reported citing Energy and Water Resources Minister Usmonali Usmonzoda.
Previously, the issue of the gas supplies from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan was considered at the last meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, which was held in Dushanbe in early January.
The minister noted that within the framework of the event held at the level of prime ministers of the two countries, both companies were instructed to study the possibilities of resuming the gas supplies.
Usmonzoda added that the gas enterprises of the two countries had already held several rounds of talks.
Uzbekistan suspended gas supplies to Tajikistan in 2012 and cited a shortage of resources as the key reason. Since 2008, Uzbekistan has gradually increased the cost of natural gas for Tajikistan, while reducing the supply.
So, the price for Uzbek gas increased from $145 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2008 to $300 in 2012. The volume of fuel fell from 600 million cubic meters in 2008 to 200 million cubic meters in 2012.
The main consumers of Uzbek natural gas were "Tajik Aluminum Company" and some other industrial enterprises, including the Dushanbe Cement Plant. After the cease of gas supplies, almost all Tajik enterprises that used natural gas as fuel changed technology, and switched to other types of fuel.
Tajikistan produces natural gas in the south of the republic in insignificant amounts (just over 3 million cubic meters per year).
The proven reserves of natural gas in Uzbekistan are 1.1 trillion cubic meters. Total reserves are estimated at the level of 5 trillion cubic meters. In 2017, gas production in Uzbekistan amounted to 56.4 billion cubic meters. This year, this figure is planned to increase to 66 billion.