SOCAR ups gas export

Oil&Gas Materials 31 March 2010 11:31 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 30 / Trend /

In January-February 2010, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) exported 326.2 million cubic meters of gas compared to 266.78 million cubic meters in January-February 2009, SOCAR reported.

In February, the company exported 153.4 million cubic meters of gas compared to 99.45 million cubic meters in February 2009.

The increase in the company's own gas exports is connected with the start of gas exports to Russia. Earlier SOCAR exported its own gas only to Georgia. Since Jan.1, the company carries out gas supplies to Russia under a contract signed with the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom.

In November 2008, Azerbaijan and Georgia signed the agreement to stir up SOCAR's activity on Georgian gas market during next 5 years beginning from 2009. Under the agreement, SOCAR will launch subsidiaries to supply gas to consumer groups pinpointed by the Georgian government.

Dec. 26, SOCAR and the Georgian Government signed an agreement to operate 30 gas supply grids and gas distribution networks in the Kakheti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Shida and Kvemo Kartli, Ajaria, Guria, Imereti, Samegrelo regions of Georgia. These networks are operated by 24 companies. The sides also signed an agreement on gas deliveries for five years, including to social groups of subscribers identified by the Georgian government under the invariability of prices within five years. SOCAR received the networks in February 2009.

In April, SOCAR Energy Georgia acquired a gas distribution network in the Marneuli region populated by Azerbaijani community.

The medium-term contract on purchase-sale of Azerbaijani gas to Russia (with the possibility of extension) was signed between SOCAR and Gazprom in Baku Oct. 14. It covers 2010-2014. Under the contract, the Azerbaijani side will annually supply gas amounting to no less than 500 million cubic meters to Russia. The contract did not specify a limit to the gas supply volume. SOCAR will notify the opposite side of the amount which the company can deliver for the next six months.

It was initially planned that SOCAR will supply Russia with 500 million cubic meters of gas. But a decision was made to increase supplies twice, SOCAR president Rovnag Abdullayev said earlier.

Azerbaijan launched gas supplies to Russia Jan.1, 2010.

Gazprom and SOCAR have agreed upon volumes of Azerbaijani gas to be exported to Russia in 2011. In 2011, this figure would be about two billion cubic meters compared to one billion this year.