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Gazprom seeks to expand presence in Tajikistan

September 18, 2013, 0:44 UTC+3

CEO to meet with Tajik leader

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DUSHANBE, September 18 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Gazprom gas giant CEO Aleksey Miller will meet on Wednesday with Tajik president Emomali Rakhmon to discuss prospects for expanding the company presence in that country, sources from the Tajik Foreign Ministry told Tass.

“The head of Gazprom is scheduled for talks with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, as well as with heads of some related ministries and agencies,” they specified.

Tass has learned that Tajikistan is interested in speeding up prospecting work in licensed areas, first of all in Sarikamysh gas field. Gazprom has licenses for the development of two promising oil and gas fields - Sarikamysh and Western Shaambary.

The sides will also discuss the possibility for Gazprom to obtain new licenses in the republic.

Active exploration continues at Sarikamysh situated 37 kilometers away from Dushanbe. The Shakhrinav-1 well drilled to the depth of 6,450 meters, is the deepest in Central Asia. In August, the press service of Gazprom International reported that another 15 million dollars would be allocated before the end of the year for further work in that section, where gas resources are estimated at 18 billion cubic meters, while oil resources - at 17 million tons. “All work proceeds within the framework of an intergovernmental Tajik-Russian agreement signed in Dushanbe in 2010,” sources from the prime minister’s office told Tass.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan has faced severe gas deficit. During the Soviet era, neighboring Uzbekistan was the main gas supplier to Tajikistan. However, over the recent years it has been cutting deliveries, and in January 2013 it fully stopped supplies without giving explanations.

This has negatively affected major industrial enterprises, and some of them, including a cement plant, have stopped production placing hundreds of workers on an indefinite leave.

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