The process of modernization in the oil and gas industry is making it possible to ensure the stability of oil in Uzbekistan and to provide the national economy with it in a consistent way, at a time when the oil price is increasing in the world. It also makes it possible to increase the volume of export. Looking back at the situation in the 90s [from 1990-2000], 75% or six to seven million tonnes of oil used in the country used to be imported. In order to solve this problem, a number of prospective projects were implemented to increase the volume of developing and refining the hydrocarbon fields over the past years. The Kokdumaloq oil refinery and Shortangazkimyo [gas processing], a very unique complex, were established. Large scale reconstruction measures were carried out in the Fargona and Oltiariq oil refineries. This increased the volume of oil and gas production and refining over three times.
At present, the overall design production capacity of the plants in Uzbekistan makes it possible to refine 11m tonnes of oil and gas condensate annually. Fundamental changes have taken place in the Fargona oil refinery over the past years. For instance, gas cleaning and sulphurous hydrogen refining units were upgraded. The reconstruction of fuel cleaning unit made it possible both to increase the quality of output and to decrease gas emission to the atmosphere. At present, all 34 units of the plant are being refurbished.
Putting into operation the modern production system, which improves the gas separation process, made it possible to increase the separation of fuel. This year, there are plans to put into operation a new toluene production unit in the plant. Annual demand for raw material is 1.5m tonnes in the plant. And producing it here in the country makes it possible to save quite a lot of currency. Research is also under way to increase the quality of fuel and engine oil. With this aim, the technology of processing refined oil has been improved [as received]. This reduces the level of oil in hydrocarbon. As a result, the speed of refining oil has reached 82%. In plants of the CIS countries this figure is less than 74%. Gas, which was previously emitted to atmosphere, is now being cleaned and converted to propane and butane.
All the above mentioned measures make it possible for the Fargona oil refinery to reach full design production capacity and to refine up to 5.5m tonnes of oil and gas condensate annually. These measures are being successively carried out in other similar plants too.