Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Kyrgyz Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev met in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of Gazprom participating in a tender to manage a state packet of 85.16% of shares in Kyrgyzneftegaz.
The deadline for submitting a bid in the tender is in February 2004.
Gazprom said in a press release that the sides also discussed a plan for priority joint action to implement a long-term cooperation agreement in the gas sphere. They also touched on issues concerning the pace of exploration and development of natural gas fields, and the construction, reconstruction and modernization of new gas transport capacities in Kyrgyzstan.
Gazprom and the Kyrgyz government signed a 25-year gas cooperation agreement on May 16, 2003.
The agreement covers the exploration and development of hydrocarbon fields in Kyrgyzstan, the reconstruction and construction of gas pipelines and other gas infrastructure projects, and the transportation of gas for joint projects.
The document also deals with the joint restoration of a compressor station at the Mailu-Suu underground gas reservoir and the provision of equipment needed by the gas industry in Kyrgyzstan.
Gazprom and the Kyrgyz government agreed on a number of priority measures for the implementation of the agreement in January 2004. This plan established a schedule for the works and also cooperation mechanism for the construction, reconstruction and operation of the gas transportation system, the joint exploration and development of fields and the provision of services to the Kyrgyz side.
To implement this agreement, Gazprom subsidiary ZAO Zarubezhneft has completed preliminary work and has started on the registration of Bishkek subsidiary.
Proven natural gas reserves in Kyrgyzstan are estimated at 6 billion cubic meters. Geological conditions and insufficient infrastructure have complicated the development of gas fields. The republic produces about 30 million cubic meters of gas per annum and production is forecast to increase to 40 mcm in 2010.
The share of natural gas in the Kyrgyz fuel and energy complex amounts to over 30%. Of total production, 42% is used in the utilities sector and 58% - in industry and to produce electricity. Natural gas consumption in Kyrgyzstan amounts to about 700 mcm per annum, which is almost totally covered by imports from Uzbekistan.
The Kyrgyz gas pipeline network, including the distribution network, amounts to about 600 km.
Interfax, January 23, 2004