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Gazprom to pick up pace at Tajik prospect

Jan. 26, 2012 at 6:47 AM

MOSCOW, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Drilling activity at the deepest prospecting well in Tajikistan will move forward as quickly as possible, the chairman of Russian energy company Gazprom said.

Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller met with Tajik Energy Minister Sherali Gul in Moscow.

During the meeting, Gul called on Gazprom to move quicker on the Shakhrinav-1p prospecting well. Engineers in the region have drilled half of the 20,600 feet planned by Gazprom since work began in 2010.

Miller "promised to render comprehensive assistance in implementing this project," Gazprom said in a statement.

Gazprom is working on four oil and natural gas prospects in Tajikistan. The company estimates there are around 700 billion cubic feet of natural gas and roughly 124 million barrels of oil in the prospects.

The countries were at loggerheads over a $30 million debt for electricity supplied by Russian-controlled hydropower plants, though payment schedules were settled in 2009.

Gazprom and the government of Tajikistan signed formal agreements for natural resource development in 2008.

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