The 50-50 deal was signed by consortium leader Korea Gas (KOGAS) and its Uzbek counterpart Uzbeknefgaz at a ceremony attended by Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov, the South’s energy ministry said.
Karimov is in Seoul to attend the inauguration of South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak.
The two sides will jointly develop the Surgil gas block in western Uzbekistan near the Aral Sea and build a gas-chemical industrial complex, the ministry said.
The field is estimated to hold 96 million tons of natural gas.
KOGAS, the world’s largest importer of natural gas, will control 17.5 percent of the joint venture, which requires 1.8 billion dollars in total investment.
From 2012, the consortium plans to process 2.8 billion cubic feet of gas per year and produce 360,000 tons of polyethylene and 80,000 tons of polypropylene that can be sold in Uzbekistan or exported to Europe and China, it said.
In a separate deal, South Korea’s Daewoo International Corp agreed with Uzbeknefgaz to conduct geological surveys of two fields in the northwest of the country.