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Friday, May 25, 2007

Azerbaijan to export gas to Turkey, boost supplies to Georgia

BAKU, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - Baku can start natural gas shipments to Turkey as soon as Ankara is capable of receiving them, Azerbaijan's energy and industry minister said Monday. Natik Aliyev said the South Caucasus gas pipeline is already on stream with Azerbaijan using it to export gas to Georgia from its Shakh Deniz field in the Caspian Sea. "As for starting gas exports to Turkey, this does not depend on Azerbaijan since the Turkish section of the pipeline is being built by the Turkish company Botash. Apparently it is now undergoing field tests," he said. The minister said for the time being Azerbaijan is ready to use all the gas it produces, while Georgia has asked for more deliveries. It was reported earlier that Azerbaijan plans to increase gas output at Shakh Deniz by 1 billion cubic meters in 2008, with about 5 billion cu m expected this year. Aliyev said gas exports to Georgia will be increased once a new field is put into operation, adding that Azerbaijan currently exports 1 million cu m a day to Georgia. Azerbaijan's annual domestic gas consumption totals 15-16 billion cu m. The country currently produces around 6.5 billion cu m of natural gas per year.

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