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Friday, January 20, 2006

Miller Makes Pitch for 3 Fields in Uzbekistan

January 20, 2006 The Moscow Times - TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- Gazprom chief executive officer Alexei Miller arrived in Uzbekistan on Thursday to try to secure control over the country's biggest gas fields in return for Moscow's political support, the media and officials said. Kommersant said that Miller planned to secure control of the Ugra, Kuanysh and Akchalaksky fields, which would triple Gazprom's imports from Uzbekistan to 17 billion to 18 billion cubic meters from 5 bcm to 6 bcm per year. That would give the world's No. 1 gas company a de facto monopoly on gas exports from the Central Asian state, Kommersant said. Kommersant said that in return for the natural gas reserves, Russia would help Uzbekistan to deal with anti-government protests and protect it from interference from the West. "The agenda of this meeting is to finalize the agreements with regard to sales and purchase prospects agreements and transit of Turkmen gas through Uzbekistan," he said. Separately, Gazprom export chief Alexander Medvedev said Miller would meet Uzbek President Islam Karimov at the end of this week or early next week.

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