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SOCAR and Ministry of Energy deny threats of gas suspension in August

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, July 30
SOCAR Georgia Gas and the Georgian Ministry of Energy have dismissed speculation over the suspension of gas imports to Georgia due to planned maintenance on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and the Shah Deniz gas pipelines in Azerbaijan.

The statements came after the Georgian TV channel Rustavi 2 spread information concerning the threat.

The SOCAR Gas company stresses that similar efforts take place on the pipelines each year, however, the process does not interrupt the natural gas supply.

"Pipeline operator companies - BP and SOCAR - sent warning messages to Georgian official bodies concerning such works several months in advance. According to the statement released by the Ministry of Energy, rehabilitation of the Shah Deniz pipeline will be carried out from 1 to 20 August. During this time, the old "Kazakh" pipeline will serve as an alternate gas supply, the company statement reads.

According to the statement released by the Ministry of Energy, "it is unfortunate and worrying when some media sources release false information and thus mislead the population instead of providing objective information to them".

"The Rustavi 2 TV story of July 27 about the termination of the natural gas supply was false and was aimed at staining reputation of the government and the Ministry of Energy. Despite the denial of the information by the Ministry of Energy and the SOCAR Georgia Gas Co., Rustavi 2 TV continues to lie and mislead people. The network took no interest in the comment from the Ministry of Energy while the agency is open to all media outlets for cooperation, the Ministry says.