Uzbekistan seeks new partner for SOCAR to develop three investment blocks

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The authorities of Uzbekistan plan to attract a new investor instead of the British company BP to develop, together with SOCAR, three investment blocks in Uzbekistan, the chairman of the board of Uztransgaz JSC, Bekhzot Narmatov, told Interfax. 

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, followed the decarbonisation path, stopped investing in new hydrocarbon projects and took 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.

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. The recoverable reserves of hydrocarbons here are estimated at about 500 million barrels. The project is still alive, in standby mode,” he said. 

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