According to data compiled by Gazeta.uz from the Statistics Agency on industrial production, gas production in Uzbekistan fell by 9.8% or 2.15 billion cubic meters to 19.86 billion cubic meters in the first five months (January — May) of 2023 compared to the same period last year.
Gas production in January was 4.31 billion cubic meters (-7.5% compared to January 2022), in February — 3.85 billion (-9% compared to February last year), in March— 4.16 billion (-12.96%), in April— 3.94 billion (-8.1).
In May, production fell to 3.6 billion (-11.2%), the lowest monthly production since last November. Gas production fell for the second month in a row.
In contrast, electricity production increased by 3.1% or 951.9 million kWh to 31.3 billion kWh during the same period. Electricity production reached a record high of 7.3 billion kWh in May, an increase of 36.1% compared to May of the previous year. In previous months, generation had been below last year’s figures.
It is worth noting that the preliminary electricity production figures for March, April, and May were revised upwards by the Statistics Agency. The difference between the preliminary and final production data for these three months is nearly 3.3 billion kWh. The Ministry of Energy pointed out that the Stats Agency does not take into account the figures for plants built under public-private partnerships (including solar photovoltaic power plants). The agency explained that these plants are small facilities, which by law provide data once a year, not every month as large enterprises do.
More than 85% of the electricity produced comes from thermal power plants that run on gas. Heat production fell by 7%, coal by 4.1%, and gas condensate by 8%. Oil production growth slowed to 3.1% (in January-April it was 6.7%).
Gazeta.uz previously reported that at the expense of reducing tax rates for natural gas by 3 times and for oil and gas condensate — by 2 times, the state budget of Uzbekistan lost 538.1 billion soums of tax for the use of mineral resources in 2022. Last year, gas production fell 4% and gas condensate production 2.8%. Oil production increased by only 1.8%.
In a discussion regarding the companies involved in Uzbekistan’s oil and gas fields, Energy Minister Jurabek Mirzamakhmudov revealed, in response to an Ozodlik investigation, that out of 294 oil fields, Uzbekneftegaz operates 118, with the remaining 176 managed by foreign enterprises.
As of January 1, 2021, Uzbekneftegaz held the largest proven reserves in the country, with 934.1 billion cubic meters of gas, accounting for 50% of current reserves. Lukoil managed 413.1 billion cubic meters (22.1%) of gas reserves, Uz-Kor Gas Chemical 109.6 billion cubic meters (5.9%), Surhan Gas Chemical 106.6 billion (5.8%), and Jizzakh Petroleum (now Saneg) 84.9 billion cubic meters (4.5%). Uzbekneftegaz was also responsible for the majority of the production.