TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, April 2 (UPI) -- Russia's largest oil company Lukoil will invest millions of dollars this year to exploit oil and gas reserves in Uzbekistan, officials said in Tashkent.
Uzbekistan ranks 11th in the world in terms of global natural gas producers as listed by the U.S. Energy Information Agency. It ranks 51st for oil.
Swiss explorers said in March they discovered new fields in Uzbekistan that could produce more than 14 million cubic feet of gas per day.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said that Lukoil was planning to spend "big money" to tap the reserves in Uzbekistan, Russian news agency ITAR-Tass reports.
"We are actively cooperating in fuel and energy," Ivanov said. "Analysts say that over the past few years only Lukoil has invested several billion dollars in Uzbekistan."
Total investments planned for Uzbekistan in 2010 approach $480 million.
Uzbekistan hosts a leg of a 1,138-mile natural gas pipeline that carries natural gas from Turkmenistan to China. The route for that pipeline bypasses Russian territory.