( RIA Novosti ) - Uzbekistan is unhappy with delays in the development of its new gas fields by Russia's energy giant Gazprom [RTS: GAZP], a senior Russian government official said Wednesday.
Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Andrei Sharonov held March 7 intergovernmental negotiations in the energy-rich Central Asian republic.
"The parties discussed the issues of oil and gas production. The Uzbek side is very happy over its cooperation with LUKoil [crude producer], but believes that there are delays by Gazprom to develop new deposits," the official said.
Sharonov said Gazprom has received more than 38,000 square kilometers (14,672 square miles) in Uzbekistan for geological prospecting.
Uzbekistan, with estimated natural gas reserves of over 6.25 trillion cubic meters, produces 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually. The Central Asian republic exports its natural gas via the Russian pipeline system.
Sharonov said Uzbekistan is unhappy with the timeframe and the investment amount with two of the three projects, which the Russian energy giant is implementing in the republic. Gazprom has currently invested $30 million compared with the expected investment figure of $300 million, the deputy minister said.
"The Uzbek side believes cooperation is developing slower than planned," Sharonov said.
However, the official said Gazprom was only granted the development licenses for new deposits in late December 2006.