Georgia Not To Purchase Gas from Russia in 2018

Nearly 100% of Georgia’s gas demand will be met by Azerbaijan, which means this year Georgia will no longer buy gas from Russia.

Under the decree, approved by Georgia’s Minister of Economy, a balance for natural gas for the year of 2018 has been adopted, which reads that Georgia’s natural gas demand will stand at 2.689 billion cubic meters in 2018.

According to the decree, Georgia will get 2.679 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan, including 1.866 billion cubic meters from state-owned national oil and gas company SOCAR and 813 million cubic meters from the largest natural gas field in Azerbaijan - the Shah Deniz.

The remaining 9.41 million cubic meters will be provided thanks to local production. In total, Azerbaijan will meet 99.65% of Georgia’s natural gas demand in 2018.

In 2017 Azerbaijan was Georgia’s main gas supplier with a share of 77.9% of the total volume of gas imports of the country. 

The parliamentary opposition calls on the government to disclose the details of the recently made agreement with the Russian energy giant, Gazprom, reached on January 10 2017, as a result of which Georgia, a transit country for the transportation of Russian gas to Armenia, will from 2018 receive payment from Gazprom. 

Under the previous agreement, which expired on December 31, 2016, Russia was paying Georgia for gas transportation by supplying natural gas to the amount of 10% of the volume of transported gas. 

All the other details of the deal are unknown, including the amount of money which will be paid to Georgia by Russia. 

The opposition party United National Movement (UNM) says they have nothing against of Azerbaijani gas, but claim the recent deal with Gazprom brought serious loss to Georgia as previously it was receiving around 200 million m3 gas equal to 100 million Gel ($38.51 million).

Roman Gotsiridze, the UNM member, claims that the agreement with Gazprom resulted in around 80 million Gel ($30.80 million) loss to the country.

“If the deal with the Russian gas giant is profitable, why the government decided to fill the country’s entire gas demand from Azerbaijan? There are too many questions the government has to answer,” Gotsiridze stated.

This is not the first time the opposition asks for disclosure of the details of the deal with Gazprom but the government says agreement is a commercial secret, adding the conditions of the deal remained the same, and only the form of payment was changed. 

Archil Talakvadze, the leader of the Georgian Dream (GD) majority says the opposition’s arguments are “self-contradictory.”

“Previously the opposition was protesting against purchasing gas from Russia, now they criticize the government for not buying it. This is ridiculous,” Talakvadze stated.

He also assured the deal was the most optimal and it did not bring any damage to Georgian economy.

By Thea Morrison


09 January 2018 13:23