DUSHANBE, January 6, 2015, Asia-Plus -- In a report released at a news conference in Dushanbe, the head of the Main Geology Directorate under the Government of Tajikistan, Murod Khol, noted on January 6 that Russia’s state-controlled company Gazprom has given up exploration and development of Sargazon and Rengan gas fields in Tajikistan.

We will recall that Gazprom received licenses to explore these gas fields in December 2006.  The Rengan field, located 20 kilometers from the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, reportedly has possible gas reserves of 35 billion cubic meters and the Sargazon gas field, located in Khatlon province 150 kilometers from Dushanbe, has possible reserves of 30 billion cubic meters.

“Gazprom has decided to focus on exploration and development of two other gas fields in Tajikistan: Sariqamish and Western Shohambari,” Khol noted.

According to him, Gazprom should submit the results of work on the Sariqamish and Western Shohambari fields for consideration to the Tajik government within the next few days.    

Meanwhile, Gazprom International, an affiliate of Gazprom, says that construction of the Shahrinav-1P well will begin at the Sariqamish field, Shahrinav district in central Tajikistan, some 36 kilometers southwest of Dushanbe, in the near future. 

Gazprom International completed the drilling of the Shahrinva-1P wildcat well at the Sariqamish field on June 11, 2014.  They reached the target well depth of 6,450 meters.

Gazprom’s licenses for exploration of the Sariqamish and Western Shohambari fields were extended for five years in September 2013. 

During his visit to Tajikistan, Gazprom chief Alexei Miller told journalists on September 18, 2013 that his company is interested in obtaining more licenses to explore natural-gas fields in Tajikistan.

According to Miller, Gazprom has invested some $150 million in two major natural-gas fields in Tajikistan''s north since 2010.

In August 2013, Gazprom reportedly announced an additional $15 million investment in its operations at the Sariqamish gas field.

Cooperation between the Tajik government and Russia’s state-controlled company Gazprom is regulated by a long-term (till 2028) agreement on strategic cooperation in the gas industry signed between Gazprom and Tajikistan’s Ministry of Energy in Dushanbe on May 15, 2003 and a memorandum of intent on launching joint Tajik-Russian enterprises of March 28, 2006.  Gazprom has been working in Tajikistan on providing the beginning of geological explorations since July 2006.

According to expert estimates, the aggregate raw-materials resources of the oil and gas bearing areas in Tajikistan amount to about 1,000 billion tons of reference fuel.  At the same time, production work at oil and gas fields require considerable expenditure, since hydrocarbon deposits occur at depths ranging from 6.5 to 8 kilometers.