Lukoil vows massive gas output increase in Uzbekistan

Russian hydrocarbons giant Lukoil said Friday its unit in Uzbekistan will fortify efforts to achieve a more than four-fold increase in gas production there by 2018. The energy firm will launch its active phase of Uzbek projects next year, the head of the overseas division said.
Andrei Kuzyaev, head of Lukoil Overseas Holding, said the company will pay more attention to “enforce targets for the production of hydrocarbons,” the media outlet reported. "By 2018, our projects in Uzbekistan must reach the level of gas in the volume of 18 billion cubic meters," the news agency reported Kuzyaev as saying.
Lukoil Uzbekistan Operating Company hopes to extract 4.1 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Uzbek gas in 2012. "The highest investment activity of the ongoing projects in the country is expected between 2013 and 2017," he added.
Kuzyaev said Lukoil Uzbekistan’s focus in the coming three or four years would be on increasing staffing to more than 3,000 as well as training of young professionals. Another 7,000 mostly local temporary jobs will also be created during that time in construction of production facilities.
Uzbekistan has the fourth largest reserves of natural gas in the world and accounts for 76 percent of Lukoil’s proven gas reserves worldwide. Lukoil Uzbekistan also owns 6 percent of the company’s total crude reserves.