Uzbekistan imports USUS$ 50.4 million worth of gas in January-December 2020, which is 237.1 times more than in 2019. This is stated in the report of the State Statistics Committee on foreign trade turnover.
The Ministry of Energy refused to comment on where from and in what volume the gas was imported.
Gas exports in value terms decreased 4.7 times - from US$ 2.2 billion to US$ 478.1 million. This happened due to the suspension of gas exports to Russia, as well as a threefold decrease in supplies to China amid the coronavirus pandemic. It was only at the end of November that it became known that Lukoil had almost completely restored gas production at projects in Uzbekistan to the design level.
According to the Statistics Committee, gas production in Uzbekistan in 2020 decreased by 10.8 BCM, or by 17.8%, to the last year - from 60.5 to 49.7 BCM.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said on December 16 that there is a gas deficit in Uzbekistan of 20 million cubic meters of gas per day. He instructed to cut gas exports, due to this, an additional 7-8 million cubic meters of gas will be sold to households.
According to Interfax, since the beginning of 2020, Russian Gazprom has hardly bought any natural gas from Uzbekistan. For 6 months of last year, the company reported of zero imports from Uzbekistan, and in 9 months of 2020. In 2019, Gazprom bought 7.6 billion cubic meters of gas in Uzbekistan.
According to the draft State Program for 2021, from March 1, it is planned to abolish the duty on the import of liquefied gas and create a wholesale electricity and gas market. Large enterprises can obtain the right to import energy resources.