Tajikistan is still studying the possibility of the import of natural from Uzbekistan.

In a report released at a news conference in Dushanbe, the Minister of Energy and Water Resources Usmonali Usmonzoda noted on January 30 that Open Joint-Stock Company (OJSC) Tojiktransgaz (Tajik state natural-gas distributor) and Uzbekneftegaz Holding (Uzbek state-owned holding company of Uzbekistan's oil and gas industry) are currently studying the technical opportunities of resuming imports of Uzbek natural gas.  

According to him, the issue of resumption of the import of natural gas from Uzbekistan was discussed at a meeting of the Tajik-Uzbek joint commission for trade and economic that took place here in early January. 

OJSC Tojiktransgaz and Uzbekneftegaz Holding were ordered to study the possibility of resumption of Uzbek gas deliveries to Tajikistan, the minister said. 

Usmonzoda stressed that Tojiktransgaz and Uzbekneftegaz had already carried out several rounds of negotiations.  

Recall, an official source at Tojiktransgaz told Asia-Plus on November 7 last year that they are finalizing negotiations to resume the import of gas from Uzbekistan after a five-year hiatus.  According to him, Tojiktransgaz is currently studying Uzbekneftegaz’s price offer.

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.

Regular flights between Dushanbe and Tashkent that were suspended in 1992 at Uzbek authorities’ initiative were resumed in April this year.