South African petrochemicals giant Sasol and its partners have signed an investment agreement with the government of Uzbekistan for the development and implementation of a gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in that country. While Uzbekistan has some of the world’s largest natural gas reserves, the country’s geographic isolation has meant that most is indigenously used.
The investment agreement terms provides that Sasol and local state-owned oil and gas firm Uzbekneftegaz each hold 44.5 percent interest and Malaysia's Petronas the remaining 11 percent interest, Johannesburg’s SouthAfrica.info website reported.
Sasol CEO David Constable said that the ability to utilize natural gas to make cleaner transport fuels is a key element of a lower emissions energy future, telling journalists, "GTL technology is the most cost effective way of achieving this and, as a world leader in GTL, Sasol is very pleased to be working with partners who have both the vision to see the opportunity and the capacity to act on it."
The GTL project is designed to reduce Uzbekistan's oil imports and will diversify the use of its massive domestic natural gas resources. Uzbekneftegaz will supply the natural gas feedstock for the GTL project from its Shurtan natural gas fields and be the primary purchaser of the project’s output.
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com