Georgian Energy Minister, Kakha Kaladze, held talks with president of Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR, Rovnag Abdullayev, in Baku on February 4.
Along with implementation of second phase of Shah Deniz project, “problems related to transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Georgia” were also discussed, SOCAR said in a statement after the meeting between Abdullayev and Kaladze.
Kaladze’s visit to Baku came three weeks after SOCAR President held talks in Tbilisi as Georgia seeks additional gas supplies to fill gap it says the country has during peak consumption in winter.
SOCAR said on January 29 that it negotiated with South Caucasus Pipeline Company to increase gas supplies to Georgia from Shah Deniz during the winter period by 50 million cubic meters, which the Georgian Energy Ministry said is not enough to fill the gap. Upgrading of another pipeline through which SOCAR supplies gas to Georgia was also discussed when the Azerbaijani state energy company’s president was in Tbilisi last month.
Without the upgrade, according to the Georgian Energy Ministry, SOCAR will not be able to increase volume of gas transported to Georgia. SOCAR was apparently referring to this issue when speaking about unspecified “problems” related to transportation of gas to Georgia.
In parallel Georgia is negotiating with Gazprom terms of transit of the Russian gas to Armenia via Georgia and possible additional supplies of gas from Russia.
As a transit fee Georgia received 10% of Russian gas transported to Armenia via Georgia. On top of that Georgia also imported 75 million cubic meters of gas from Russia in 2015, according to the Energy Ministry.
Gazprom wants to monetize transit fee and pay cash instead of giving Georgia 10% of gas transported to Armenia. If monetized, Georgia may not receive enough cash to buy the same amount of gas it is now receiving as a transit fee, so no agreement has yet been reached.