Russian state-controlled gas company may come to northern Tajikistan

17/08/2016 09:41
Zarina Ergasheva
Views: 3630

DUSHANBE, August 17, 2016, Asia-Plus - The fact that Russia's state-controlled gas company Gazprom has given up the licenses for exploration and development of the Sariqamish and Western Shohambari gas fields does not mean that the company is phasing out its operations in the country, Igor Shatalov, the head of the Gazprom International office in Tajikistan, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

“We will consider other choices,” Shatalov said, noting that the decision to give up the licenses for exploration of the Sariqamish and Western Shohambari gas fields was conditioned by a number of reasons, including the unacceptable tax policy of Tajikistan.  

Gazprom International is an affiliate of Russia’s state-controlled company Gazprom.  Over the years of working in Tajikistan, Gazprom international has reportedly spent about 6 billion Russian rubles, including 1.5 billion Russian rubles paid in taxes.

Gazprom announced in its quarterly report that it has given up licenses for exploration and development of the Sariqamish and Western Shohambari gas fields in Tajikistan.

The report that was posted on Gazprom’s website on August 12, in particular, notes that the central commission for mineral development and license movement management has decided to give up the licenses in connection with inexpediency of further exploration of the mentioned fields.  

Gazprom received licenses for exploration of the Western Shohambari and Sariqamish fields on September 15, 2009 and the licenses expire on September 18, 2018.

Meanwhile, Gazprom International gave up licenses for exploration of the Sargazon and Rengan fields in 2014.

Recall that Gazprom received licenses from the Tajik government to explore the Sargazon and Rengan fields in 2006.  According to Gazprom, the Rengan field, located 20 kilometers from the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, reportedly has possible gas reserves of 35 billion cubic meters; Sargazon, located in Khatlon province 150 kilometers from Dushanbe, has possible reserves of 30 billion cubic meters.

Gazprom justified its decision to give up the licenses for exploration of the Sargazon and Rengan fields by saying that it decided to concentrate its efforts on exploration and development of the Sariqamish and Western Shohambari fields.

The Sariqamish field reportedly has possible gas reserves of 18 billion cubic meters, possible oil reserves of 17 million tons and possible reserves of dissolved gas of 2 billion cubic meters.

Cooperation between the Tajik government and Russia’s state-controlled company Gazprom is regulated by a long-term (till 2028) agreement on strategic cooperation in the gas industry signed between Gazprom and Tajikistan’s Ministry of Energy in Dushanbe on May 15, 2003 and a memorandum of intent on launching joint Tajik-Russian enterprises of March 28, 2006.  Gazprom has been working in Tajikistan on providing the beginning of geological explorations since July 2006.

According to expert estimates, the aggregate raw-materials resources of the oil and gas bearing areas in Tajikistan amount to about 1,000 billion tons of reference fuel.  At the same time, production work at oil and gas fields require considerable expenditure, since hydrocarbon deposits occur at depths ranging from 6.5 to 8 kilometers.

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