A Board of Directorsí meeting is in progress at Gazpromís Headquarters.
The Board has looked into a conception of Central Asian gas purchases and considered it expedient to continue operations in Central Asia, including to keep up securing the long-term supply of Central Asian gas to Russia and third countries.
Central Asian natural gas is a crucial element of Gazpromís overall resource base supplying gas needs of Russia, the CIS countries and West Europe.
The Central Asian gas purchase conception is aimed at diversifying Gazpromís total resources.
To enhance the reliability and economic viability of domestic and foreign gas deliveries, Gazprom has come up with strong regulatory fundamentals for bilateral strategic cooperation with Central Asian countries in the gas business, which stipulate Central Asian natural gas production, processing, transmission and marketing through an integrated export channel.
So far Gazprom entered into cooperation agreements with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
When fulfilling its contractual gas purchase & transit commitments, Gazprom pursues the objective of rehabilitating existing and commissioning new gas transmission capacities in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia.
Over 2005 the Gazprom Group acquired some 19 bcm of gas from Turkmenia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, with 25.8 bcm slated for 2006.
To boost long-term supplies of natural gas from Central Asia, Gazprom is implementing a Program of top priority measures targeted at debottlenecking the Central Asia Ė Center (CAC) gas transmission network and sealing long-term contracts for gas transit via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
The CAC debottlenecking project is divided in two stages. The first stage encompasses expanding CACís capacities to some 55 bcm per annum. The second phase is planned to see further upgrading of CAC and initial construction of a new 30 bcm/y gas pipeline. A pertinent investment decision will be adopted after the Turkmen side discloses the results of independent audit into Turkmenistanís hyrocarbon reserves, which is a guarantee for loading new gas transmission capacities.
Gazprom started implementing a string of joint investment projects in Central Asia, aimed at rehabilitating and developing the regional gas infrastrucutre. In particular, the company entered into a production sharing agreement to extract gas from the Shakhpakhty field, is about to seal an agreement for the geological exploration and development of Uzbekistanís Ustyurt fields and is actively engaged in prospecting & exploratory drilling in Tajikistanís Sarykamysh and West Shaambary areas.