Gazprom Signs Long-Term Deal with Tajikistan

Gazprom has signed a 25-year strategic cooperation deal with Tajikistan, Gazprom Chairman, Alexei Miller said. Under the terms of the agreement Gazprom would explore and develop gas fields in Tajikistan. "Things ought to move quickly, and we hope by the end of June to sign a contract on the seismic exploration of the Rengan and Sargazon fields," Miller said. At the same time, he said the republic's industrial enterprises experience the lack of solvent demand. "This proves that gas projects on Tajikistan's domestic market will be profitable," Miller said. The cooperation agreement might be extended by five years.

Rengan, which is 20 kilometers west of Dushanbe, holds a probable 30 billion cubic meters of gas and could serve central Tajikistan. Sargazon is in southern Tajikistan.

Tajikistan possesses probable gas reserves of more than 1 trillion cubic meters. Tajikistan's proven gas reserves are small, and production is not high enough to meet domestic demand, so Tajikistan has to rely heavily on imports. Tajikistan produced 24 million cubic meters of gas at its own fields in 2002. The gas is supplied to the south of the country. Northern Tajikistan receives gas by trunk pipeline from Uzbekistan. It received 485 million cubic meters of gas from Uzbekistan in 2002.