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Uzbekistan to float state oil and gas firm by 2024

ALMATY (Reuters) - Uzbekistan is planning to privatise its oil and gas firm, Uzbekneftegaz (UNG), by 2024 as part of a strategy to boost gas output, the nation’s energy ministry said on Friday.

The move would be the first flotation of a large state-company in the former Soviet republic which renewed its reform drive after a change of leadership in 2016.

“...Measures are to be taken to attract investment in Uzbekneftegaz by primary and secondary public placement of up to 49% of shares no later than 2024,” it said in a statement.

Citing a presidential decree, the ministry said UNG’s priority was “to increase the annual production of hydrocarbons, including natural gas to 42.3 billion cubic metres and LNG to 1.5 million tonnes by 2024 by encouraging cooperation with large multinational oil and gas companies.”

It provided no potential valuation or data on UNG’s current output and the company itself has not disclosed it either.

Uzbekistan produces about 60 billion cubic metres of gas a year and exports it via pipelines to Russia and China.

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; editing by David Evans