TASHKENT. May 19 (Interfax) - Uzbekistan and China intend to ensure the stable operation of the China-Central Asia gas pipeline, the countries said in a joint statement after talks between Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday.
Both sides will work together to ensure the stable operation of and supply of natural gas through the China-Central Asia pipeline in accordance with the agreed plan, the statement, posted on the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry's website, said.
About 10% of the gas produced in Uzbekistan is exported to China, data from Uztransgaz showed. The percentage varies month to month depending on domestic demand, which is the priority. As a rule, Uzbekistan's gas exports decrease in winter and increase in summer.
However, Uztransgaz CEO Bekhzot Narmatov said earlier that Uzbekistan might completely stop exporting gas by 2025-2026 to meet the needs of its own economy.
Uzbekistan is capable of producing about 70 billion cubic meters of gas per year, but due to depletion of reserves, process losses and the lack of an effective system of control, hydrocarbon supplies have decreased significantly in recent years. Gas production in the country slumped 4% to 51.7 bcm in 2022. Uzbek officials have said the country could produce 56.3 bcm in 2023.
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