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Oil, gas and petrochemicals in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Oil and gas

To 2023, BMI has said that Uzbekistan’s gas sector is going to continue its expansion with production and export figures rising to 2023. However, BMI has said that the country’s oil sector is set to remain on a downward slope rendering the country increasingly more dependent on refined fuels imports and subjecting it to potential fuel shortages.

When it comes to Kazakhstan, BMI is maintaining a positive longer term outlook for the country’s oil and gas sector, which is expected to see its oil and gas production levels nearly double over the forecast period to 2023. Downstream, the country is no longer going to move forward with plans to build a fourth refinery, instead it is going to expand the Shymkent refinery. The decision was reportedly taken following an assessment of the global refined fuels market, which identified limited regional export opportunities, due to sufficient global supply. However, there are currently four new small refineries with a processing capacity of 300 000 – 800 000 tpy being built at the moment. Private companies are building the plants in Aktobe, Shymkent and Almaty. Many such refineries, BMI reports, are planned to be launched by the end of this year, despite the shortage of raw materials being faced by existing small firms.


BMI has said that Russia’s economic problems, stemming from its trade war with the west, is having a negative impact on the Central Asian petrochemicals market, with Kazakhstan’s imports dropping dramatically last year. BMI also anticipates that further falls in imports are set for both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, as both prepare for a surge in capacity next year. BMI has said however that both countries will have sufficient production to cover domestic needs with a surplus likely to stimulate polymers conversation and boost exports. The Central Asia market is robust and growing fast, providing a sound basis for new petrochemicals capacity also.

It has been reported that most consumption will be focused on finished products with a lack of domestic plastics converters to fulfil demand. BMI has said that this could change as domestic petrochemicals capacities evolve, enabling local sourcing of cheap raw material for the manufacturing of end products.

Last year, Central Asia’s petrochemicals capacities included 240 000 tpy of ethylene, 125 00 0tpy of polyethylene and 120 000 tpy of polypropylene. BMI has said that these capacities are set to surge over the next five years as a result of planned developments in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. By 2019, Central Asia is expected to have olefins capacities of 1.64 million tpy of ethylene, 720 000 tpy of polypropylene with polymers production making up 1.33 million tpy of polyethylene, 720 000 tpy of polypropylene and 100 000 tpy of PVC.

Edited from report briefs by Claira Lloyd

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