SOCAR May Provide Georgia with Iranian Gas

Head of the Investment Department of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, Vagif Aliyev, said the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan SOCAR, which is one of the largest oil and gas suppliers in Georgia, will provide Iranian gas to Georgia.

Iran said last week it wanted to export its gas to Georgia through Armenia. According to the agreement with Georgia, Iran will deliver gas to the Armenian border whereby Georgia will receive it.

However, according to the Azerbaijani news agency, in an interview with ANS TV channel, Vagif Aliyev said it is possible Azerbaijan will provide Georgia with Iranian gas, most likely on a small scale.

Aliyev stated that for Tehran, possible gas supplies from Iran to Georgia will have a political context, not an economic one.

“SOCAR has a strong position in Georgia. Georgia and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on gas deliveries until 2030,” Aliyev said. “We are the main supplier of natural gas to the country. What’s more, Tbilisi receives part of the volume as a transit fee for transportation of Russian gas through its territory to Armenia.”

He added that, while Georgia is a close neighbor and strategic ally of Azerbaijan, each state determines its own energy strategy.

“It is important to think how important the Georgian market is for Iran,” he said.

Currently, Iran provides gas to Turkey and Armenia.

Gas from Azerbaijan to Georgia is delivered via the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, which transports gas produced in the ‘Shah Deniz’ gas-condensate field in the Caspian’s Azerbaijani sector.

SOCAR supplies its own gas to Georgia via a pipeline that passes through Azerbaijan’s Gazakh district. The power flow of gas through this pipeline is about three billion cubic meters a year. Azerbaijan is the main supplier of gas to Georgia with a share of 77.9 percent of total imports of this category.

Tamar Svanidze

11 January 2016 19:19