Friday, February 09, 2007
Georgia eyes Shah Deniz supply
02-09-2007 - Upstream onLine - Georgia, seeking to lessen its dependence on Russian energy, wants to negotiate a bigger long-term share of natural gas from the Shah Deniz field in neighbouring Azerbaijan, according to reports. Energy Minister Nika Gilauri told Reuters Georgia aimed to extend a deal with Azerbaijan and Turkey, which also buys gas from Shakh Deniz, to secure supplies until 2011 from the project run by a consortium led by BP and Norway's Statoil. "All sides should sit down and talk not only about 2008, but also about 2009 to 2011. We should expect a new redistribution," Gilauri said in an interview published today. Georgia is entitled by an agreement signed in the late-1990s to receive only 250 million cubic metres of natural gas in 2007 from Shah Deniz. This will increase to 800 Mmcm in 2010-11 - still much less than Georgia wants to buy. Tbilisi has a preliminary agreement with Turkey for a further 800 Mmcm this year. It wants to extend this over 2008 and beyond to avoid a repeat of the price shocks prompted by Russia's more than doubling of the gas price to $235 per 1000 cubic metres from the start of 2007. "We're not saying we don't want Gazprom's gas," Gilauri said, referring to Russia's gas monopoly. "On the contrary, we're saying we don't want natural gas only from Shah Deniz. Volumes of Russian gas purchased will depend on price," Gilauri said.