Speaking at the inauguration of a vast gas field, Ivanov said: ’Russian companies such as Lukoil respect the environmental criteria, unlike foreign companies operating in Russia. Why give companies from outside Russia the opportunity to make money?’
Ivanov, together with Lukoil OAO president Vagit Alekperov, was officiating at the launch ceremony of four gas fields by a joint venture controlled 90 pct by Lukoil and 10 pct by the Uzbek government.
Under the terms of a 35-year agreement signed in 2004, more than 200 billion cubic metres of gas is to be extracted from three gas fields in the southern Bukhara region and one in the north of the country.
The production-sharing agreement is the first in Uzbekistan, a country largely closed to foreign investors that has significant gas reserves and infrastructure dating from the Soviet era, to come on stream.
’For the first time, today, our company is autonomously operating a gas field, while until now Lukoil was considered an oil company,’ Alekperov said.
In total, Lukoil plans to invest about 3 billion usd in the project, which is expected to reach peak annual production of 11 billion cubic metres of gas in 2012 or 2013.
Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, produced about 60 billion cubic metres of gas in 2006, of which 12 billion were exported.