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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/19/2013 -- Conventional gas deposits would support Uzbekistan's hydrocarbons industry, though we project a continued decline in oil production. Consumption growth in both oil and gas will be curtailed by the diversion of gas to external markets to meet its export obligations, a failure to meet its domestic refined products demand and restrictions on fuel imports.
The main trends and developments in Uzbekistan's oil & gas sector are:
- We are predicting a very gradual decline in oil reserves, with 485.3mn barrels (bbl) to remain by 2022, down from EIA's estimate of 582.1mn bbl for 2013. However, exploration activity and a reasonable discovery rate lead us to believe that it could see a rise in its gas reserves, from an estimated 1.8trn cubic metres (tcm) in 2013 to 1.9tcm by 2022.
- Uzbekistan has an estimated 340bn bbl of oil shale deposits and Uzbekneftegaz has established a US $600mn joint venture (JV) project that will convert the oil shale into crude oil to be processed into petroleum products. It has started first drilling at the Sangruntau deposit in March 2013 and is aiming for production of about 1mn tonnes per annum (tpa), or about 20,000 barrels per day (b/d). However, we have not factored this in our forecast until the success of its first development is proven.
- Without early success in enhanced recovery, shale-based production and/or new field development, we believe crude oil supply - including lease condensate but excluding natural gas liquids - will fall to 55,160b/d by 2017. However, additional natural gas liquids (NGL) volume - thanks to our forecast for higher gas output from Uzbekistan - should help stem a rapid fall, and see total liquids output fall to a lesser extent to 105,800b/d in 2017. By 2022, increase in NGL production could see total liquids output stay stagnant at about 105,000b/d.
- We are forecasting a relatively slow growth in oil consumption from 147,000b/d in 2012 to 151,310b/d in 2017, rising gradually to 156,680b/d by 2022. Nonetheless, slower liquids output growth in face of this demand rise will see net import requirement rise from 44,400b/d in 2012 to 51,100b/d by 2022. If the Uzbek government persists with fuel import restrictions without upgrading the country's state-owned refineries or attract private downstream investment, demand could be suppressed further.
- Official Uzbek figures highlighted a 0.2% decrease in output in 2012, which has led to our estimate of 62.9bcm for gas production in 2012. We expect this fall to be reversed in 2013, however, and to rise to 69.5bcm by 2017 as new fields enter production. By 2022, output is expected to hit 76.7bcm. Risk appears to be to the upside in terms of output, thanks to the combined efforts of domestic and international companies, plus infrastructure expansion and rising regional demand for Uzbek gas.
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