The head of Uzbekneftegaz M. Abdullayev told S&P Global Platts about the probable decrease in the volume of gas exported to China from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The situation with COVID-19 has led to the fact that the Chinese partners have asked to reduce gas supplies from Central Asian countries. According to Abdullayev, the reduction by country will be proportional. He also noted that the final decision will be made by the Coordinating Committee of the CA countries.
The annual capacity of the gas pipeline connecting Central Asian countries with China is 55 billion cubic meters. Last year, Turkmenistan supplied 33.2 billion cubic meters of gas to China, and Kazakhstan supplied 7.1 billion cubic meters (Chinese customs data). According to Uzbekneftegaz calculations, Uzbekistan exports about 10 billion cubic meters to China.
The head of Uzbekneftegaz stressed that Uzbekistan's strategic goal is to shift efforts to the processing of gas resources within the country. Thus, Uzbekistan plans to reduce gas exports to zero in the next 10 years and switch to maximizing profits from the sale of products produced from gas. In this direction Uzbekneftegaz finances two projects: Oltin Yo'l GTL and Shurtan gas-chemical complex. "Oltin Yo'l GTL" should be commissioned by the end of 2020, the volume of gas processing at the plant will be 3.6 billion cubic meters.
The total volume of gas produced in Uzbekistan in 2019 was about 60 billion cubic meters, in 10 years it is planned to produce 20% more.
Mr. Abdullayev also noted a decline in fuel demand in the country due to the introduction of restrictive measures related to COVID-19. For the last 10 days of March and April, the drop, according to his data, amounted to about 60-70%. Diesel fuel in this period began to be bought more often due to the activation of agricultural activities.