Russia, Uzbekistan in talks to reverse gas pipeline
TASHKENT, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Russia and Uzbekistan plan to look into the possibility of arranging Russian natural gas shipments to the Central Asian nation via a pipeline that is currently used to pump it in the other direction, the Tashkent government said on Wednesday.
Russia's Gazprom and Uzbekistan's energy ministry agreed to work out the technical requirements for such supplies, while the commercial terms have yet to be discussed, the ministry said in a statement.
The Central Asia - Center pipeline was designed to carry Central Asian gas westward and is currently used to pump gas from Turkmenistan to Russia, although Gazprom only purchases small amounts of the commodity from Turkmenistan.
Uzbekistan, formerly a gas exporter, has encountered energy shortages in recent years, which became acute this winter amid extremely cold weather and Turkmen supply disruptions. (Reporting by Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov Writing by Olzhas Auyezov Editing by Louise Heavens)