China, Uzbekistan Partner on Gas, Uranium

Source:

"China to buy Uzbekistan's energy, including uranium and natural gas."

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov signed a number of agreements regarding the purchase of energy from Uzbekistan, including uranium and natural gas.

In connection with Hu's state visit, Uzbekistan's state-owned Uzbekneftegaz and China National Petroleum Corp. signed a framework agreement on supply of 10 billion cu m (bcm)/year of gas.

The two sides also noted that, under the accord, they would aim to link Uzbekistan's gas transmission system with the China-Uzbekistan gas pipeline.

The China/Uzbekistan gas line is part of the 1,800-km China/Central Asia gas line that opened in December 2009, linking gas fields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to northwest China's Xinjiang region.

In May, official media reported that deliveries of Turkmen natural gas to China had exceeded 1bcm since the December 2009 launch of the new gas line, with a further 5bcm expected by yearend.

Meanwhile, the new agreement between China and Uzbekistan came just days after the South Korean government announced that a significant amount of gas has been found in an Uzbekistan block equally owned by a Korean consortium and four countries.

Initial drilling, which ended in April, produced 500,000 cu m/day of gas, according to South Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy, which also that the block "likely" has a gas reserve that can be converted into 63 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The Korean consortium comprising Korea National Oil Corp. and Posco owns a 20% stake in the Aral Sea block, while Uzbekistan, Russia, China and Malaysia each own a 20% stake in it, the Korean ministry said.

In addition to the gas agreement, China and Uzbekistan also agreed on further cooperation in the supply of uranium, a point underlined by the Chinese leader.

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