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KazTransGas – Tbilisi Clarifies its Position regarding the Sources of Gas Supply

As it is known, the deputy head of the Kazakh National Oil and Gas Company KazMunaiGas (KMG)  Daniar Berlimbaev said  that after the Tbilisi gas distribution network were  returned under the control of the Kazakh management, the company might reoriented from Azerbaijani gas into Kazakh or Russian.

According to the company’s  CEO Sanzhar Shokataev, it is not about Russian gas, but the Kazakh, which is expected to be transported through Russia.

“The negotiations with the Russian side will begin immediately after  KazTransGas returns under  our management. If the negotiations with Moscow are successful, our customers will be able to receive Kazakh gas at a price below the current rate,”- he notes.

“Currently, the gas for the social needs in Georgia is subsidized and it  is unrealistic to lower a rate. But we have the opportunity to buy our  own, Kazakh gas at a lower price. The main issue  is transportation to Georgia. One of the variants  is to conduct  talks with Russia over transit, as the pipeline through which we can receive gas from Kazakhstan passes through the territory of Russia. In  reality, we are talking not about the Russian but  Kazakh gas,”- said Shokataev.

According to him, this  topic will be discussed during the visit of Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili to  Kazakhstan.

“We do not coordinate this issue with the Government of Georgia as KazTransGas is  a private company. We have the opportunity to buy Kazakh gas at a lower price. Why the Georgian side should block such negotiations? Doesn’t it want to  drop gas prices? “- wonders Sanzhar Shokataev.

According to the latest information KazTransGas – Tbilisi will be returned under the control of the Kazakh side in January 2015.

Back in May 2013, Georgian Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze stated about  the need to diversify gas supplies, and did not rule out the possibility of obtaining natural gas including from Russia.

“We will do everything to ensure that in future we had several sources of gas. This will increase competition in the market. At the same time we are not going to refuse from the  Azerbaijani gas. Azerbaijan has been and remains our strategic partner, and we are happy with the price at which we get gas from there. With regard to alternative suppliers, it can be not only Russia, but also Kazakhstan. The alternative is normal, “-  Kaladze pointed out.

However, he said later that the government was not considering the possibility of obtaining Russian gas, and at this stage the question of diversification of gas supply was  not considered.