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Georgia Notes Progress in Gas Talks, but no Final Agreement Yet
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 9 Dec.'06 / 13:13

Georgia and Azerbaijan will receive additional supplies of Gas from the Shah-Deniz field as Turkey has agreed to allocate an additional amount from its own share, officials said after 10-hour talks in Tbilisi on December 8.

“A huge step forward has been made. We can say that part of Turkey’s gas share [from Shah-Deniz] – which is 2,8 billion cubic meters in 2007 – will be distributed between Georgia and Azerbaijan. The exact amount still needs to be agreed on. An additional meeting on the expert level will be held in Baku next week,” Nika Gilauri, the Georgian Energy Minister, told reporters after talks with his Turkish and Azeri counterparts.

The Energy Ministers from the three countries also held talks with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on December 9.

Georgia will have its guaranteed 250 million cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah-Deniz gas field in 2007, according to the initial contract. The contract says that Georgia will have 200 million cubic meters of gas as a transit fee and 50 million cubic meters at a reduced price from the South Caucasus Gas Pipeline, which will transport Azeri gas from Shah-Deniz field to Turkey via Georgia. Nika Gilauri said that Georgia will start receiving its first gas from this contract on December 15.

But Georgia and Azerbaijan want to increase their shares as both face gas price hikes from Russian suppliers.

Sources say that Georgia is seeking to receive 1,5 billion cubic meters of gas from Shah-Deniz to meet most of its gas consumption need in 2007. Georgia’s gas consumption will reach up to 1,9 billion cubic meters in 2006.

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