21 Nov 2018 17:47

Uzbekistan to raise $36.5 bln for projects to develop oil, gas industry by 2030

TASHKENT. Nov 21 (Interfax) - Uzbekistan plans to carry out 30 investment projects costing a total of $36.5 billion by 2030 to develop hydrocarbons production and processing.

"For further development of the oil and gas sector until 2030, it is planned to implement 30 investment projects worth $36.5 billion in geological exploration, production and deep processing of hydrocarbons," Uzbek media quoted Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the country's president, as saying at a meeting no November 20.

If specific measures are not be taken to increase hydrocarbon reserves, the existing reserves will fall by half over the next 10-15 years, Mirziyoyev said.

The leadership of Uzbekneftegaz, the national oil and gas industry holding, received instructions for increasing the scale of geological exploration and production volumes, modernizing existing and discovering new fields, deep refining of oil and gas and attraction of more investment.

The bulk of Uzbekistan's trunk gas pipelines and gas distribution system is in need of repair. In order to guarantee the supply of natural gas, a project worth $1.6 billion will be implemented to modernize the gas trunkline system and control gas flows.

Instructions were given to attract foreign investments and loans to finance projects to modernize the gas distribution system and introducing an automated system for monitoring and metering gas consumption.

Currently, only 2% of natural gas is refined into high value added products, but there is "every opportunity to increase this figure 7-fold over the next 10 years," Mirziyoyev said.

In particular, there are opportunities for production of new types of products - polystyrene, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and synthetic rubbers based on aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene, toluol, xylol) and using the technology of producing olefins from methanol, as well as increasing the production of polyethylene and polypropylene. For the implementation of these projects it is necessary to attract about $9 billion. In this regard, it was noted that Uzbekneftegaz should give priority attention to oil and gas chemistry.

The complexity and multi-stage management system of Uzbekneftegaz was criticized, and it was mentioned that reforms in the industry are progressing slowly.

In order to improve the management system, instructions were given to optimize the organizational structure of Uzbekneftegaz and remove non-core organizations from the system. In particular, it was emphasized that management should be reduced with duplicate functions, service companies and subsidiary industries should be transferred to investors on the basis of public-private partnership.

Instruction was given to organize a national oil and gas research institute on the basis of four scientific-research, research and design institutes operating in this sphere, to pay special attention to development and implementation of innovative solutions for deep processing of hydrocarbons.