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29.01.04á13:30
TWO OPTIONS FOR GASPROM...
COMPANY'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS WILL CONSIDER PARTICIPATION IN MODERNIZATION OF CENTRAL ASIA - CENTER PIPILINE THIS SPRING

Gasprom's board of directors will consider the gas concern's participation in reconstruction of the Central Asia - Center (CAC) main pipeline in the spring of 2004, Valery Gulev, a general director of Zarubejneft (Gasprom's foreign projects operator), told Interfax in Orenburg.

According to him the pipeline reconstruction project provides for the increase in throughput capacity 2,2 fold from 45 to 100 bcm of gas a year. It will require construction of a new line and reconstruction of the entire pipeline infrastructure, Valery Gulev said.

He did not specify the projected cost and the period of project implementation.

As KazTransGas (Kazakhstan) reported earlier, according to preliminary estimates the modernization of the CAC is projected at $1,5 bln.

The head of Zarubejneft noted that Gasprom made a principle decision on the company's return to the markets of Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, in particular.

"We have two options: either to buy and transport gas (from Central Asia), or sooner or later it will reach Europe through other pipelines and shatter a price balance in Europe", Valery Gulev said.

He said that Gasprom was going to buy, namely, in Turkmenistan up to 80 bcm, in Uzbekistan up to 10 bcm, in Kazakhstan up to 7 bcm of gas per year. Besides, the company plans to extract up to 10 bcm of gas on PSA terms in Uzbekistan.

Valery Gulev was in Orenburg in a delegation of representatives of foreign subsidiaries of Gasprom to get acquainted with Orenburggasprom capabilities on reconstruction of extraction and transportation facilities.

He reminded that in Soviet times Orenburggasprom served as basic establishment to provide Central Asia with equipment and specialists. "With the return of Gasprom to Central Asian markets Orenburggasprom will be rated among five companies that are expected to develop new and reconstruct old production facilities in the former Soviet republics", he said.

Orenburggasprom (a subsidiary of Gasprom) is the largest gas condensate field in Orenburg region since 1974 with 850 bcm of gas worth of the remaining reserves.

Interfax news agency, 28.01.04

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