Iran can supply gas to Georgia in swap scheme

Iran can supply gas to Georgia in swap scheme

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 18

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

The supply of the Iranian gas to Georgia, on which the discussions are currently being conducted, is hardly possible, said Gela Vasadze, Georgian political analyst, chief editor of the Black Sea Press agency told Trend Feb. 18.

"In fact, there will not be implemented any supply of the Iranian gas. Formally and financially [if the agreement on such supply is reached] it will be the Iranian gas, but physically Russian," said Vasadze.

The expert reminded that Russia supplies gas to Armenia through Georgia via the infrastructure, which formerly the Georgian authorities refused to sell to Gazprom.

Armenia's gas transport system, through which the Iranian gas theoretically may be transported through this country to Georgia, is owned by Gazprom, added Vasadze.

"It is illogical to supply the Iranian gas physically," said the expert adding that "Why Gazprom has to supply gas through Georgia's territory to Armenia, and gas from Iran through Armenia's territory to Georgia?

Vasadze said that in fact if such a scheme is applied, Iranian gas will be supplied to Armenia, while the Russian gas, which was earlier supplied to Armenia, will remain in Georgia.

Regarding the transportation of Iranian gas via Azerbaijan, the expert said that it is illogical as well, because Azerbaijan itself can ensure Georgia's needs in gas, which was repeatedly stated about. In addition, one will have to transport the Iranian gas for a greater distance than the Azerbaijani one, and, respectively, transportation costs will be higher, according to the expert.

He said that for Georgia the best option is to meet the country's needs completely at the expense of supplies from Azerbaijan.

"Azerbaijan is our strategic partner, which helped us a lot at the time when Georgia was in fact in energy blockade," the expert said. "The current Georgian authorities talk about diversification, but they cannot state a single argument in favor of purchasing Russian or Iranian gas and refusing from the supplies from Azerbaijan."

Vasadze said that an idea of Iranian gas supply is a workaround not to offend Russia, which wants to participate in Georgia's energy supply and at the same time, avoid substantial resistance in the Georgian society, which is against Gazprom's appearing.

At present, Azerbaijan is the main supplier of gas to Georgia.

Russian gas is supplied to Georgia only in the form of payment for its transit to Armenia. The country obtains 10 percent of the total supply volume.

Earlier, Alireza Kamali, director general of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC), said that Tehran and Tbilisi are negotiating about the supply of 200 mcm of Iranian gas to Georgia. Later, Georgian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze said that Iran will be able to supply its gas to Georgia via Azerbaijan or Armenia.

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Follow the author on Twitter:@E_Kosolapova

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