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Experiences From Financing Mineral Projects in the Cis

Scott Horton, International Resources Law: Today's Oil, Gas, and Mining Projects (1997)

On September 23, 1995, Uzbekistan enacted a new Law on Subsoil Resources, a watershed event in the republic's efforts to solicit foreign investment in its natural resources sector. In this article, Patterson, Belknap partner Scott Horton and Uzbek legal consultant Tatyana Geller surveyed not only this new Law, but also the broader framework of modern Uzbek laws which govern investment in the natural resources sector

While Uzbekistan has been best known for the past several decades for its fine, long-staple cotton (only the United States produces more of this “white gold”), cotton production for the republic probably reached an all-time high around the time of the disintegration of the Union and pressures relating to land management, water rights, and the need for crop diversification are likely to push Uzbek agriculture away from cotton in the foreseeable future. The country's stronger appeal to the foreign investment community in this period is likely to come in the area of natural resources.

Most investors lured to Central Asia in the natural resources sector have come because of Kazakstan's riches. However, the case for Uzbekistan is very strong. The Kokdumalak oil and gas fields alone contain over 100 million tons of oil and 96 million tons of gas condensate, according to the Uzbek State Committee on Geology (“Goskomgeologiya”). The country's current claim