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Uzbekistan to start exporting gas to China in August

13 September 2012

http://www.kyivpost.com/ of 9/13/2012 - Uzbekistan started regular gas exports to China in August, Uzbekistan's National Information Agency said.

A government source confirmed this for Interfax. The source said gas exports to China began on a regular basis in the middle of August. The source did not say how much gas would be exported to China this year.

Shokir Faizullayev, CEO of national oil and gas company Uzbekneftegaz, said in March that some gas would be exported to China starting April 1. But Uztransgaz said in the middle of May that the exports had not yet begun due to the need to iron out a few legal issues.

China and Uzbekistan signed a frame agreement back in June 2012 to sell an annual 10 billion cubic meters of Uzbek natural gas to China.

The Uzbekistan - China pipeline, part of the Central Asia - China gas pipeline, will be used to export the gas to China. Construction of the 7,000-km Central Asia - China pipeline (diameter of 1067 mm) to take natural gas from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to China began in 2008. The first line was completed in December 2009 and the second was finished in 2010. The two lines have combined capacity to carry 30 bcm of gas per year.

Uzbekistan and China began building the third line of the Uzbek section of the Central Asia - China gas pipeline, which will have capacity for 25 billion cubic meters per year, in December 2011. The $2.2 billion project will be financed with loans from China Development Bank and direct investment from the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Gas should start to be pumped along the third line in January 2014 and design capacity should be achieved in December 2015.

Uzbekistan is the Commonwealth of Independent States' third biggest natural gas producer and one of the world's top ten. The republic produces around 60 bcm of gas on an annual basis.