The Uzbek authorities plan to attract a new investor instead of the British company BP to develop three investment blocks in Uzbekistan jointly with SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, SOCAR).
Chairman of the Board of Uztransgaz JSC Bekhzot Narmatov stated about it.
In May 2018, BP Exploration, SOCAR and Uzbekneftegaz signed a memorandum of understanding, in May 2019 – an agreement on joint research to assess exploration potential at three investment blocks in the Ustyurt region of Uzbekistan.
“The project progressed very well until the moment when international companies changed their strategy and took the path of decarbonization and stopped investing in new projects and went down the green path. We were already approaching the signing of the Production Sharing and Geological Exploration Agreement. SOCAR was going to participate in the project with a share of up to 25%, but, of course, BP was the main investor. After the change in the policy of the British company, the project stopped, now we are considering the possibility of attracting other companies to this project,” Narmatov said in an interview with Interfax.
At the same time, he noted that the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) retains its interest in the project, since the research work was carried out mainly by SOCAR specialists with the support of BP.
“SOCAR remained in the project. This is a large oil, science and resource intensive project. Recoverable reserves here are estimated at about 500 million barrels. The project is still alive, in standby mode,” he said.
According to Narmatov, the Uzbek authorities are currently discussing “in parallel with several companies” on the issue of attracting new investors.
“The public announcement of a new partner entering the project requires, first of all, coordination with SOCAR, which is still our partner. We cannot go forward without them,” he added.
The agreement on research work on three investment blocks in Uzbekistan provides for geological exploration in the Uzbek part of the Aral Sea, Samsko-Kosbulak and Bayterek investment blocks of the Ustyurt region.