Uzbekistan may cut natural gas deliveries to Tajikistan?

6 months ago Web Desk 0

The Minister of Energy of Uzbekistan, Alisher Sutlonov said on Thursday that Uzbekistan will cut natural gas exports because of domestic energy shortages.

 

According to Uzbekistan’s statistical data, this year, average monthly natural gas deliveries to Tajikistan have amounted to 22 million cubic meters, which is almost twice as much as last year’s average monthly natural gas deliveries.

 

Over the first eleven months of this year, Uzbekistan has reportedly supplied about 250 million cubic meters of natural gas to Tajikistan.

 

The Agency for Statistics under the President of Tajikistan says that compared to January-November last year, natural gas deliveries from Uzbekistan over the first eleven months of this year have increased 1.6 times or by US$9 million.

 

Uzbekistan now sells natural gas to Tajikistan at the rate of US$120.00 per 1,000 cubic meters, which is US$30.00 fewer than the international price for natural gas.

 

Meanwhile, residential customers in Uzbekistan receive natural gas at the rate of US$38.00 per 1,000 cubic meters.

 

Recall, Uzbekistan resumed delivering natural gas to Tajikistan in April 2018, ending a six-year hiatus precipitated by diplomatic differences.

 

The gas is funneled to Tajikistan through the Muzrabad-Dushanbe pipeline.

 

During 2018, Tajikistan reportedly imported US$6.9 million worth of 55 million cubic meters of natural gas from Uzbekistan.

 

In 2019, Tajikistan significantly increased imports of natural gas from neighboring Uzbekistan.  Last year, Tajikistan reportedly imported 140 million cubic meters of Uzbek natural gas in the amount of US$17.7 million.

 

Uzbek natural gas is currently consumed mostly by industrial enterprises.  The main consumer of the Uzbek natural gas in Tajikistan is the Tajik Aluminum Company (TALCO).  According to some sources, it consumes some 80 percent of the country’s natural gas imports.

 

Uzbekistan stopped gas deliveries via pipeline to Tajikistan on December 31, 2012 after both sides failed to agree on gas prices following the expiration of their contract.

 

Uzbekistan, Tajikistan’s only supplier of gas, routinely suspended gas deliveries to its neighbor amid complaints of nonpayment.

 

Uzbek natural gas prices varied quarterly depending on the world trends and Tajikistan had to make prepayments every ten days.

 

In 2010, an average price of 1,000 cubic meters of Uzbek natural gas for Tajikistan was US$240.00; in the first quarter of 2010, the price of 1,000 cubic meters of Uzbek gas was US$231.00 and in the fourth quarter, it rose to US$254.00.

 

In the first quarter of 2011, Tajikistan was buying natural gas from Uzbekistan for US$227.85 per 1,000 cubic meters, while the price for the second quarter was US$249.19 per 1,000 cubic meters.  In the third quarter, Tajikistan was buying natural gas from Uzbekistan for US$284.33 per 1,000 cubic meters and the price for the fourth quarter was US$311.00.

 

In 2012, an average price for 1,000 cubic meters of Uzbek gas in Tajikistan was 300.00 U.S. dollars.  In 2012, Tajikistan received 132.4 million cubic meters of natural gas from Uzbekistan, 46.6 million cubic meters fewer than in 2011.

 

Signs of a thaw in relations between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan emerged in September 2016.  In the years since independence, bilateral relations have been plagued by mistrust, disputes over water resources and outright hostility.  Both sides have adopted a series of punitive measures against each other.  President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has expressed interest in “resetting” relations with Tajikistan.

 

Source: Asia Plus