Georgia's pipeline repair delay may leave Armenia without gas

Armenia Materials 20 December 2006 12:29 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - Armenia's underground gas storage facilities may be empty this winter if Georgia fails to restore its pipeline pumping Russian gas on time, an official spokesman for Russian energy giant Gazprom said Tuesday.

"If repair work continues for a long time, Armenia may have no more gas in its underground storage facilities this winter," Sergei Kupriyanov said.

The Georgian Gas Transportation Company reported Monday that an avalanche damaged the pipeline pumping Russian gas to Georgia and Armenia in the early hours of December 18, reports Trend.

A reserve branch pumping 1.2 million cu m of gas per day is currently being used to ensure supplies to Armenia, which in the past has received around 10 million cu m per day in winter.

Kupriyanov said the Georgian Gas Transportation Company had promised to repair the pipeline Monday but later said it will take several days.

He said Russia and Armenia, which has not received the required volumes of Russian gas for two days and is using gas from its storage facilities, expects Georgia "to take all the necessary measures to restore [the pipeline] as soon as possible."