DUSHANBE, August 11, Asia-Plus - Experts from “Tojikgaz” (Tajik state gas concern) expect that the present prices of natural gas imported from Uzbekistan will remain in effect at least through the end of this year.

Mr. Shavkat Shoimov, the “Tojikgaz” deputy head, has recalled in his interview with Asia-Plus that Tajik gas concern and “Uztransgaz” (Uzbek gas supply company) signed an agreement on supply of 750 cubic meters of Uzbek natural gas to Tajikistan this year at the rate of US$55.00 per 1,000 cubic meters.  “Proceeding from this, the Uzbek side cannot overstep the limits of the agreement and change the rates,” Mr. Shoimov said.   

Commenting on reports that Uzbek authorities are considering the possibility of raising the prices of exported natural gas, the Asia-Plus interlocutor said that Tojikgaz has not yet received an official notification from the Uzbek side of its intention to raise the prices of exported natural gas, “and it means that the prices of natural gas imported from Uzbekistan will remain in effect till the end of this year.”  

“Of course, the country’s government is considering further moves in connection with possible rise in prices of natural gas imported from Uzbekistan,” said Mr. Shoimov, “Rising prices of natural gas result from world market trends, and we will be probably not able to avoid the next rise in the natural gas prices.” “In any case, the Tajik government will try to reach agreement with Uzbekistan on preferential and more moderate prices.” 

In the meantime, prices of natural gas are continuing to rise in Central Asia.  Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency has reported that Turkmenistan intends to charge countries importing Turkmen natural gas US$100.00 per 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas, up from the current US$65.  Kazakhstan is going to increase prices of natural gas from the current US$47-US$50 to US$138-US$140 per 1,000 cubic meters, and Uzbekistan is considering the possibility to double the prices of exported natural gas, according to RIA Novosti.    

Experts from the Ministry of Energy the rising prices of natural gas have resulted from world market trends and expect the prices to rise throughout the world on average by 10%-15% annually in the coming years.    

We will recall that on January 1 this year, Uzbekistan raised the price of natural gas for Tajikistan from US$42 to US$55 per 1,000 cubic meters.  Uzbekistan authorities have justified the decision as based on world market trends.

Since July 1, “Tojikgaz” has realized natural gas to the public at the rate of 265 Somonis (equivalent to more than US$80.00) per 1,000 cubic meters.