Gazprom International is about to commence implementation of a number of new energy projects in the Republic of Tajikistan. To this end, a working group has been set up to analyse geological and geophysical materials with a view to selecting new oil and gas exploration targets. During a meeting held in Dushanbe on 13 October, the Russian and Tajik sides discussed the preliminary results of its work and plans for developing cooperation.
The meeting was attended by Emomiddin Aslzoda, Tajikistan Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Saidzhon Saidrakhmonov, Director General of the State Unitary Enterprise Naftugaz (oil and gas industry company under Tajikistan Ministry of Energy), and Gaibullo Bobobekov, Head of Sugdnaftugas Company (Sogdian branch of Naftugaz).
The Russian side was represented by Igor Shatalov, Chief Representative of Gazprom International in the Republic of Tajikistan, Evgeny Kuzmin, Chief Geologist, and joint delegation of specialists of Gazprom International and JSC Gazprom zarubezhneftegaz.
Possible exploration targets being considered for further studies include oil and gas fields in southwestern and northern parts of Tajikistan. In Soviet times, commercial hydrocarbon deposits were discovered in all the proposed areas, and an assessment was made of the potential reserves.
Should Gazprom International decide to participate in these projects, it will have to prepare feasibility studies, carry out a series of exploration and field surveys, reinterpret the legacy data, undertake a new assessment of resource potential, as well as wells work-overs, follow-up exploration and further development of the fields.
Pursuant to the agreements reached during the meeting, the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan will provide Gazprom International with more detailed geological and geophysical information on the proposed areas, and with a package of the required documents of title.
At the end of the meeting, Andrey Fick, Managing Director and CEO of Gazprom International, commented: “We appreciate the confidence and support which the leadership of Tajikistan has shown in the Gazprom projects. For our part, we are willing and open to further full-scale energy cooperation with the Republic of Tajikistan.”
Cooperation between PJSC Gazprom and the Republic of Tajikistan is developing in accordance with the long-term Agreement on Strategic Cooperation in the Gas Sector dated 15 May 2003 (up to 2028) and the Agreement on the General Principles of Geological Exploration in Tajikistan dated 10 June 2008.
In particular, the Agreement provided for the implementation of four exploration projects in Tajikistan. These are: Sarykamysh, West Shokhambary, Rengan, and Sargazon. After the required exploration was completed, in 2011 the Russian Company decided that their further development would not be feasible due to extremely complex geological environment.
In the Sarykamysh area, the Company drilled a 6,450 m deep prospecting well, Shakhrinav 1-p. It is the deepest well in the history of drilling for oil and gas in Central Asia. Based on the results of drilling and integrated geological and geophysical works, eight prospective oil and gas bearing targets were identified. For the first time, the wells tapped the deep seated sub-thrust zones and collected unique geological and geophysical data. However, the wells did not produce hydrocarbons at commercial rates, and the Central Commission for Field Development & Subsoil Use and License Management made the decision to surrender the license. A similar decision was made with regard to the West Shokhambary area.
At the same time, in its capacity as operator of Russian Gazprom and within the framework of its previous commitments, Gazprom International is considering a number of other oil and gas exploration and development projects in the Republic of Tajikistan.
Since 2009, Gazprom’s investments in exploration in Tajikistan have amounted to more than 5.5 billion roubles.