Uzbekistan plans to reopen Sokh underground gas storage (UGS) facility in Sokh district of Ferghana province (North-Sokh gas storage). President Shavkat Mirziyoyev announced this at a meeting with residents in Andijan province on Wednesday, UzA said.
“Unfortunately, the Sokh UGS was closed for some reasons. We also agreed this matter with [the President of Kyrgyzstan] Sadyr Japarov during the state visit to Kyrgyzstan. Soon our Minister of Energy will travel to Kyrgyzstan and agree on the technical aspects [of the project],” he said.
Minister of Energy Zhurabek Mirzamakhmudov said that the capacity of Sokh UGS is 2.5-3 billion cubic meters (BCM).
Of these, 1.3 BCM gas can be used, and the rest is in the buffer zone. This means that we will be able to supply 13 million cubic meters of gas to the Ferghna valley every day during the winter season, he added.
Reportedly, the main part of the gas storage is located on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, while the compressors are located on the territory of Uzbekistan. For this reason, negotiations are underway on the general use of the facility.
First of all, the working group will study in detail all technical and economic aspects.
“Because the building has not been used for many years, we need to carefully examine its current state. After that, we will agree on the terms. Maybe it will be on a leasehold basis, but it’s too early to say anything,” said the Minister of Energy.
Uztransgaz said that the Northern Sokh gas storage facility was launched in 1978 to provide natural gas to consumers in the Fergana Valley in the autumn-winter period. Since May 2011, due to border problems, gas collection at the facility has been suspended.
The minister Mirzamakhmudov earlier said that Uzbekistan planned to increase the capacity of its largest gas storage, Gazli, from 3 to 8 BCM. The second such facility is Khodjaabad UGS facility with a volume of 900 million cubic meters of gas.