Georgia hopes to agree on additional volumes of Azerbaijani gas, Georgian Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze told Trend in Baku Feb. 29.
“I think we will agree on this issue one of these days and we will have the opportunity to get additional volumes of gas from Azerbaijan,” the minister said.
Kaladze made the remarks within the second Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Meeting. The second Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Meeting has started in the Four Seasons hotel in Baku on Feb. 29. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is participating in the meeting. The energy ministers and representatives of various organizations from the Southern Gas Corridor member-states are participating in the meeting as well.
Maros Sefcovic, Vice-President for Energy Union, Berat Albayrak, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Amos Hochstein, US Special Envoy for Energy Affairs of the US Department of State, Edmund Hosker, Director General for International Energy Issues of the UK Energy and Climate Change Department, Claudio De Vincenti, State Secretary of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic and others are also participating in the event.
Kaladze said that Georgia has been negotiating with a consortium of Shah Deniz for several months on increasing the volume of Azerbaijani gas supplies. The matter rests in additional 400-500 million cubic meters per year, Kaladze said. He called the gas talks between Russian company Gazprom and Georgia a usual annual procedure. Currently, Georgia is discussing with Gazprom the possibility for the Russian side to pay for gas transit to Armenia in money.
Azerbaijan is the main supplier of gas to Georgia. Russian gas deliveries to Georgia are carried out only in the form of payment for its transit to Armenia, for which the country is supplied with 10 percent of total shipments. Gazprom supplied 300 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas to Georgia in 2014.
“We get 10 percent of Russian supplies volume and renew the contract every year,” Kaladze said. “Azerbaijan is Georgia’s strategic partner, and we have established long-term friendly relations.”
He went on to add that unfortunately, some forces use such moments to spoil relations between the two countries. “But they won’t succeed,” said the minister. Speaking about the Southern Gas Corridor, Kaladze said that Georgia appreciates this project, which will allow the country to get additional volumes of gas.
“In Georgia, all the work on this project runs according to plan, and I hope that this project will be launched in 2018,” said Kaladze.
The Southern Gas Corridor project envisages transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe through Georgia and Turkey. At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.