MOSCOW, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said it was eager to expand on energy developments under way in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan.
Gazprom chief Alexei Miller met with Tajik President Emomalii Rahmon to discuss energy developments.
"The company already completed drilling of the Shakhrinav-1p ultra-deep prospecting well and launched testing operations," Gazprom said in a statement Wednesday. "The meeting also highlighted that the licenses permitting Gazprom to explore hydrocarbons in the Western Shaambary and Sarykamysh areas were extended for a five-year period."
Gazprom said it expects to acquire more licenses for exploration in Tajikistan. Most of the targeted reserves are in the western part of the country.
The Russian energy company said the Sarykamysh alone holds an estimated 630 billion cubic feet of natural gas and at least 50 million barrels of recoverable oil reserves.
Gazprom started surveying parts of Tajikistan in 2008. Its first well was drilled at Shakhrinav-1p in 2010. Gazprom said its operations in Tajikistan represent a $173 million investment.