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Minister says Georgia will receive additional gas supplies from Azerbaijan

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, March 2
Georgia’s Energy Minister, who has just returned from Baku, stated that the country will get additional gas supplies from Azerbaijan through the Shah Deniz pipeline.

Minister Kakhi Kaladze told local media that in Baku he held meetings with the Azerbaijani President and the SOCAR leadership, and a deal was reached.

“We have agreed on providing additional gas supplies from Azerbaijan. In addition, negotiations with Russia’s Gazprom company will be completed in several months, and Georgia will get a result that will be in line with our state interests,” Kaladze said.

Several months ago, Kaladze stated it was impossible at the current stage for Georgia to get additional gas from Azerbaijan, and it would be necessary for Georgia to receive these additional supplies from Gazprom.

The Minister stated that Georgia was especially in need of the additional supplies in the winter.

As it was stated, the Azerbaijan SOCAR company leadership arrived in Tbilisi, and after their meetings with Georgian officials they said that Azerbaijan might find a way to meet Georgia’s additional demands.

Meanwhile, the Government was grilled by the opposition, who accused Kaladze and other state officials of holding hidden, anti-Georgian negotiations with Gazprom.

The opposition and the civil sector stated that Russia has always used Gazprom for its political aims and reminded the Government of 2006, when in winter Gazprom suspended gas provisions for Georgia.

Georgia received 200 million cubic meters from Russia’s Gazprom as a fee for transiting Russian gas to Armenia; Georgia also imported 75 million cubic meters of gas from Russia in 2015.

Gazprom wants to monetize the transit fee and pay cash instead of giving Georgia 10% of gas transported to Armenia. If monetized, Georgia may not receive enough money to buy the same amount of gas it is now receiving as a transit fee. Negotiations on transit terms are still in progress.

Azerbaijan exported 1.6 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to Georgia in 2015.

The gas from Azerbaijan to Georgia is delivered via the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, which transports the gas produced at the Shah Deniz gas and condensate field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.

SOCAR supplies its own gas to Georgia via a pipeline that passes through Azerbaijan’s Gazakh district.

The pipeline’s transportation capacity is about three bcm a year.