Georgia takes actions to fill natural gas supply deficit

Georgia is taking measures for the sake of safeguarding the country’s natural gas supply, reports.

Today Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze met the Director General of SOCAR Energy Georgia, Mahir Mammedov, in Tbilisi to discuss the possible ways for avoiding natural gas supply deficit.

After the meeting Kaladze told journalists that this year Azerbaijan could not fill the gas supply deficit in Georgia. Kaladze warned the supplies of Azerbaijan’s natural gas will soon be insufficient to cover Georgia’s needs.

In order to solve the gas supply deficit problem the sides discussed several projects that would ensure increasing the Azerbaijani gas supply in Georgia.

One of the projects discussed during the meeting was construction of an underground natural gas storage facility. Kaladze said SOCAR expressed interest to participate in this project. Georgia was going to start construction works in 2016.

Another project was about increasing the existing capacity of SOCAR gas transit.

It will be very important for our country to implement this project [underground natural gas storage facility] in order to solve country’s natural gas supply problem. SOCAR’s both natural gas pipelines operate at full capacity. In the future we plan to implement such project that will ensure us to increase the capacity of gas transit,” Kaladze said.

Another project the sides discussed in order to avoid the natural gas supply deficit in Georgia was Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea, offshore from Azerbaijan, that opens Europe for Azerbaijani gas.

Kaladze said the second stage of the project would be completed by 2019. $400-700 million USD will be invested in Georgia in the framework of construction for the second stage of development of the Shah Deniz project.

Kaladze said Shah Deniz project would enable Georgia to enjoy additional supply of natural gas.

“At the meeting we have discussed the technical problems that we face during the winter. There are some periods when gas consumption reaches its peak level. And especially in winter when we used to balance the gas supply deficit with Russian gas. I want to say once again that Georgia and Azerbaijan are strategic partner. We will continue cooperation in the future,” Kaladze said.

The Energy Minister explained technically it was impossible to receive additional supply of gas from Azerbaijan this year. However after implementing the above mentioned projects Georgia would overcome the natural gas supply deficit challenge.

Earlier this week Kaladze explained extra gas supplies from Russia and Iran could be necessary only in a transition period until Azerbaijan’s Shah-Deniz field begins having an impact in 2019.

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