President Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a meeting devoted to discussing the state of affairs in the oil and gas industry and the ways to further development of the industry, the presidential press service of the head of state said.
Mirziyoyev noted that should the specific measures be not taken to increase hydrocarbon reserves, the existing reserves will be halved over the next 10-15 years.
In this regard, the leadership of Uzbekneftegaz was instructed to expand the geological exploration works and increase production, modernize existing and discover new fields, deeply process oil and gas resources, and expand investment, and was entrusted to prepare, by the year-end, proposals for the implementation and financing the second phase of the hydrocarbons extraction program for 2017-2021.
He underscored that the main part of the gas pipelines and gas distribution grid was built in the last century and is in need of repair. In the future, in order to guarantee the supply of natural gas to consumers, a US$ 1.6 billion project will be implemented to modernize the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA).
Currently, only 2 percent of natural gas is processed to produce high added value goods, while there is every opportunity to elevating this figure to 7 percent in the next 10 years. In this regard, the meeting stated that Uzbekneftegaz should give priority to petrochemicals industry.
In particular, there are opportunities for the production of new types of products - polystyrene, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and synthetic rubber from aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene, toluene, xylene) and MTO technologies, as well as increasing the production of polyethylene and polypropylene. About 9 billion dollars of investment is required for these projects.
Mirziyoyev criticized Uzbekneftegaz’s excessive complexity and multi-stage management structure, which is hampering the pace of reforms in the industry.
He pointed to the need to set up of a national oil and gas research institute in place of four research, research and design institutes, to pay special attention to the development and implementation of innovative solutions for the deep processing of hydrocarbons.