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Regulation forming hydrocarbon exploration program approved in Uzbekistan

19 August 2014

The Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers approved a regulation forming the exploration program of the Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company (NHC).

The procedure for the development, coordination and approval of long-term (for a period of five to 15 years), medium-term (up to five years) and the annual hydrocarbon exploration programs has been determined, according to the decree posted in the Uzbek electronic media Aug. 19.

The exploration programs are being worked out by Uzbekneftegaz, according to the document.

According to the document, the long-term exploration program is conceptual. It determines the main directions of perspective development of the geological sector. It proceeds from priorities to enhance the country's hydrocarbon resource base, taking into account the situation on the world market, advanced scientific and technical solutions in the areas of geological exploration, production and processing of hydrocarbon raw materials.

The parameters and criteria set out in the long-term exploration program in accordance with Uzbekistan's long-term socio-economic development strategy will be specified in the medium-term program.

The annual exploration program includes geological exploration to search for oil and gas reserves given the target parameters (direction, stage, types and exploration volume, expected outcomes, the amount of the planned appropriations by indicating the sources of their funding) for each project, as well as the expected timing of their implementation.

The long-term and medium-term exploration programs are approved by the Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers, the annual programs - Uzbekneftegaz in coordination with the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Finance, the Uzbek State Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources, according to the document.

Hydrocarbon reserves are planned to be increased by 24.5 percent - to 3.16 billion tons of standard fuel in accordance with the concept of the Uzbek oil and gas industry until 2020, according to Uzbekneftegaz.

In this case, the annual volumes of prospect, exploration and parametric drilling will increase by 2.5 times and reach 300,000 linear meters annually.

Around 25 percent of the total hydrocarbon resources have been used in Uzbekistan, including Bukhara-Khiva region - 75 percent, South-West Gissar - 35 percent, Surkhandarya - 12 percent, Fergana - 22 percent and Ustyurt - 15 percent, according to the holding.

Uzbekneftegaz's capacity allows ensuring natural gas production in the volume of 70 billion cubic meters and liquid hydrocarbons - in the volume of eight million tons per year.

The proven recoverable hydrocarbon reserves in the country as of January 1, 2014 amounted to more than 2.5 billion tons of standard fuel, of which about 65 percent is natural gas reserves, according to the Uzbek State Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources.

Around 232 hydrocarbon deposits were discovered in Uzbekistan, including 183 gas fields. Around 103 are being developed, and 60 prepared for development. Exploration operations are underway at 69 fields.