LUKoil starts drilling natural gas wells in southwest Uzbekistan

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TASHKENT, July 1 (RIA Novosti) - LUKoil (RTS: LKOH) said Saturday it had started drilling natural gas wells in the southwest of Uzbekistan.

The drilling works at the Khauzak deposit are conducted by LUKoil Overseas within the framework of the Kandym-Khauzak-Shady-Kungard production sharing agreement.

"As for now, a 3D seismic survey of Khauzak block has been completed, group design for the construction of development wells has been prepared, the construction of power lines has been finished and the work on the construction of access roads, as well as on the preparations to overhaul three wells, is in progress," Russia's independent crude producer said in its news release.

The company said that the drilling of the first well would be completed in four months. In all 37 new development wells were planned to be drilled at the Khauzak block.

The 35-year agreement on the Kandym-Khauzak-Shady-Kungrad project was signed June 16, 2004 in Tashkent and came into force November 24, 2004. The project is implemented by a consortium of investors, which includes LUKoil Overseas (90%) and Uzbekneftegaz (10%). The estimated natural gas production of 10 billion cubic meters per year had been planned to start in the fourth quarter of 2007.

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