Kazakhstan is discussing natural gas supplies from Russia to Uzbekistan in the amount of 1.5bn to 10bn cubic metres (bcm), TASS reported citing Energy Minister of Kazakhstan Almasadam Satkaliyev.
According to the minister, the transit of Russian gas to Uzbekistan seems economically beneficial to Kazakhstan. This would make it possible to compensate for the unprofitable supplies of blue fuel to the domestic market for Qazaqgas.
"Now we are discussing the volume of transit from 1.5bn to 10bn cubic metres of gas. Then it will be possible to multiply [the volume of supplies] depending on the readiness of the Uzbek energy system, depending on the readiness of Russian colleagues to export gas in the required volume," Satkaliyev said.
"For Kazakhstan, this is due to the receipt of additional income from transit. We will be able to modernise our gas pipeline system," the Kazakh official added.
According to the agreement between UzGasTrade and Gazprom Export, Russian natural gas supplies to Uzbekistan will amount to 2.8 bcm per year. If the gas transit through Kazakhstan from Russia exceeds the volume agreed with Uzbekistan, then the surplus could be exported to China.
In November 2022, Russia proposed to create a gas union with the participation of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Among its goals, media reported were the coordination of gas transit and its supplies to other markets, in particular to China.
In January, the ministries of energy of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan signed cooperation plans with Gazprom. Initially, there were reports of plans to launch the transit of Russian gas from March 1, but the infrastructure was not ready for this.
In early June, Satkaliyev announced his readiness to ensure the transit of Russian gas to Uzbekistan. The infrastructure was planned to be prepared for the autumn-winter season of 2024.
On June 16, Uzbekistan and Russia signed an agreement on the supply of Russian natural gas. The export of Russian gas to Uzbekistan through the territory of Kazakhstan may begin in the fourth quarter of 2023.
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