Turkmenistan halts gas exports to energy-starved Uzbekistan referring to it as “force majeure”

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Uzbek media reports say Turkmenistan halted natural gas exports to Uzbekistan on January12.

Gazeta.uz reported that on that day, a telephone message was received from Turkmenistan’s state-run concern, Turkmangaz, about the problems at its gas production units and the suspension of gas supply through Daryoliq pumping facility. According to information received from various sources, the reason for the gas supply interruption was the formation of hydrate in the communications inside the Galkanish gas condensate field. Experts say this happens in severe cold temperatures and emergency situations.

It is to be noted that Uzbekistan in December signed an import deal with Turkmenistan for an extra 1.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas for the winter season.

Uzbekistan’s energy ministry said the country has been experiencing another sharp reduction in pressure in gas pipelines after a short-lived recovery from similar domestic gas shortages in December.

The ministry statement added that measures had been taken to suspend sales of natural gas for motor fuel and added that restrictions have been placed on the delivery of natural gas to industrial consumers.

Uzbekistan’s presidential press office said on January 16 that President Shavkat Mirziyoyev had cut short an official visit to Singapore in order to address the acute energy shortage at home.

Meanwhile, Uzbekistan has halted power supply to Afghanistan in order to provide with energy resources the domestic market primarily the residential customers and social facilities.

Afghanistan’s TOLOnews, citing the country’s power distributor, Da Afghanistan Bereshna Sherkat (DABS), reported on January 15 that the imported electricity from Uzbekistan has been disconnected due to technical issues.

DABS official Safiullah Ahmadzai reportedly said on Sunday that Islamic Emirate officials are carrying out negotiations with Uzbekistan officials on the reconnection of power supply to the country.

He said that to address the lack of electricity in Kabul, the company has activated the Tarakhil thermal power station.

According to TOLOnews, Uzbekistan two weeks ago extended the agreement for supplying power to Afghanistan.

Und eths agreement, Uzbekistan should provide US$100 million worth of 450 megawatts of electricity to Afghanistan during winter.

Ahmadzai said that it is not clear when the electricity will reconnect to Afghanistan.

Source: Asia-Plus