Uzbekistan to increase Turkmen oil imports to curb fuel crisis
Uzbekistan will increase importing oil from Turkmenistan and will process at local refineries to solve the rampant fuel crisis and decrease long lines at gas stations, Uzbeknefteprodukt, a subsidiary of the UzbekGazOil national holding company, reports. The move show the state company is indirectly confirming the deficit of fuels, which it was refuting earlier.
To be sure, the press release the company circulated suggests that the long lines at gas stations were caused by “certain factors” that do not depend on the Uzbeknefteprodukt. For instance, there are rumors reportedly alleging that fuel prices will hike and no vehicle fuels would be available at gas stations in December 2013. Despite the fact these rumors hold no water, the press release continues, motorists are trying to buy more gas and are thus causing panic and heightened demand in fuels.
Fergana already reported that Uzbekistan has been decreasing oil extraction over the last several years. According to RIA Novosti, the oil extraction fell by 17.4% down to 1.5 million tons in 2012. In January-March 2013, 345,250 tons of oil was extracted, which is down 19,8% compared to the same period in 2012. No statistic data on hydrocarbons is made available after March 2013.