Gazprom ready to buy all Azeri natural gas
By M. Alkhazashvili
Tuesday, September 2Russian giant Gazprom is prepared to buy the whole Azeri natural gas output and thus become the sole exporter of Azeri gas to Europe.
Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller first announced these plans on July 2 and on August 14, almost a week after war broke out between Georgia and Russia, Gazprom representative Yuri Shchedrin stated at a press conference in Baku that consultations on the issue are underway between the two countries.
Azerbaijan has natural gas reserves of about 2 trillion cubic metres. By 2012-2013 it could export 50-60 billion cubic metres annually and thus cover 30-50% of EU countries’ deficit.
It might be observed that, as Moscow wants to become the sole supplier of gas to Europe and be able to use this lever whenever needed, Gazprom’s plans are in accordance with those of the Russian imperialist elite.
If the plan is implemented, the importance of the Baku–Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline will diminish. This was conceived as providing an alternative to the Russian monopoly of gas supplies to Europe. Turkey will certainly not be happy about this prospect, and neither will Georgia which does not want to be dependent on Moscow at all. So it seems that battle for Azeri gas has just started.