19 Dec 2023 15:21

Uzbekistan to drill ultra-deep wells to boost gas production

TASHKENT. Dec 19 (Interfax) - Uzbekistan is thinking of drilling wells to depths of 6,000-7,000 meters to boost gas production.

The issue was discussed at a meeting attended by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the country's media reported.

"Gas industry leaders presented information on the geological exploration and production program for 2024. A transition to drilling to depths of 6,000-7,000 km using advanced technologies was considered," the reports say.

The focus is on maintaining gas production volumes at existing fields and identifying new reserves. The depth of exploratory drilling has increased from 2,000-3,000 km to 4,000-5,000 km in recent years. As a result, new gas reserves have been discovered and an additional 4.4 billion cubic meters produced.

An international consulting company has helped to identify numerous prospects, with seismic work on an area of 3,500 square km and the drilling of new exploration wells planned in 2024.

The meeting also discussed attracting foreign investment and providing the sector's enterprises with working capital.

JSC Uzbekneftegaz owns 118 or 40% of Uzbekistan's 290 oil and gas fields.

Uzbekistan is capable producing 70 billion cubic meters of gas per year, but production has fallen considerably in recent years due to reserves depreciation and process losses. Gas production fell 4% in 2022 compared with 2021 to 51.7 bcm, of which Uzbekneftegaz produced 32.2 bcm, less than a forecast 34 bcm and 62.3% of the total.

Uzbekistan reduced gas production 9.4% year-on-year in January-August 2023 to 31.4 bcm, the country's statistics office has said.