Uzbekistan plans to begin further exploration, construction and development of hydrocarbon fields in the Uzbek part of the Aral Sea in 2017, said the program of measures for structural reforms, modernization and diversification of production for 2015-2019, approved by the decree of President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov.
Under the program, the preliminary cost of the project for 2017-2031 will amount to $300 million. More precisely, the project cost will be determined after the development of its feasibility study.
The project will be carried out by an international consortium consisting of the Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company (NHC), Russian Lukoil and China’s CNPC.
It was earlier reported that the international consortium of Uzbekneftegaz, LUKOIL, Petronas, Korean KNOC and Chinese CNPC on Aral project implementation with equal 20-per cent shares was created in 2005. PSA on Aral block was signed in 2006 and consists of two parts: exploration work (license on exploration work was issued for five years – Aral Sea Operating Company joint venture) and further development of discovered hydrocarbons reserves for 35 years. The start date of the projects implementation is Jan.31, 2007.
Petronas and KNOC withdrew from the consortium in May 2011 and September 2013, respectively. Currently, the share of Uzbekneftegaz in the consortium is 33.4 percent, while the shares of CNPC and LUKOIL Overseas are 33 percent each.
The consortium completely implemented the program for the geological exploration work totaling 2,941 linear kilometers of seismic survey with 2D method by drilling two exploration wells in 2011.
A new hydrocarbon field – West Aral – with the preliminary estimated gas reserve of 11 billion cubic meters was discovered and six prospective structures were revealed as a result of the geological exploration work carried out at the initial stage. Four of these prospective structures were certified and prepared for deep drilling.
Currently, work on geological exploration on the contract area is entering the final stage. Field work on 3D-seismic survey in volume of 780 square kilometers was completed in March 2014.
One exploration and two dependent wells will be drilled at the current stage of the geological exploration work scheduled till mid-2016 taking into account the results of the exploratory drilling un the eastern part of Aral Sea.
According to the data from Uzbekneftegaz, there may be over 30 anomalies related to the oil and gas objects within the waters of the Aral Sea’s Uzbek part having an area of 12,500 square meters.