Uzbekistan is one of the world's major producers of natural gas, with substantial oil and natural gas resources. Active interaction between the Gazprom Group and Uzbekistan began in December 2002 with the signing of an agreement on strategic cooperation in the gas industry. It provided for long-term procurement of the Uzbek gas, participation of Gazprom in gas production projects on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan under Production Sharing Agreements (PSA), as well as collaboration in the development of gas transportation infrastructure in Uzbekistan. In fact, Gazprom became one of the first Russian companies that started investing in the oil and gas sector of this country.
2003 saw the opening of a representative office of Gazprom Zarubezhneftegaz (presently, Gazprom International Limited) in Tashkent. It predominantly focused on promoting Gazprom’s interests in Uzbekistan, ensuring asset operators were well coordinated, and liaising with government authorities, Uzbekneftegaz management, and all stakeholders.
In April 2017, Gazprom and Uzbekneftegaz inked an Agreement on Joint Exploration Works which involved studying promising investment blocks and preparing proposals for geological exploration in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
In June the same year, on the sidelines of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, the companies signed an Agreement on Strategic Cooperation. The Agreement became the basis for long-term development of mutually beneficial relations between Gazprom and Uzbekneftegaz in a wide range of areas, including:
— joint search, evaluation and implementation of new hydrocarbon exploration, production, processing and storage projects in the Republic of Uzbekistan;
— reconstruction, construction and operation of gas trunk pipelines, compressor stations and other gas industry infrastructure facilities in the Republic of Uzbekistan;
— development of projects for the use of CNG and LNG as motor fuel and for autonomous gasification needs;
— development of bilateral cooperation in the exchange of experience, training of qualified personnel and improving their skills;
— development of scientific and technical cooperation, including joint research and development activities.
At present, the specialists of Gazprom International Limited continue to actively study potentially oil and gas bearing regions of Uzbekistan and investment blocks offered to foreign companies that may be of interest in terms of exploration. There are vast opportunities to expand the activities of the Company in the Republic of Uzbekistan. In particular, apart from section of investment blocks from the list of areas prepared by the Uzbek side, foreign companies are offered an option of determining at their discretion the boundaries of territories whose subsurface is to be studied and developed. In the Republic of Uzbekistan, there are still potentially oil and gas bearing regions that are underexplored.