Sunday, December 26, 2010

Week 20-26 Dec.: End of the decade…step on the gas!

The last decade saw the growing importance of gas, its export and costs.

Approximately ten years ago the Shah Deniz gas field was discovered. Its reserves (estimations waving from 50 billion cubic meters to twice as much at the early stage of data collecting) were considered relevant to reduce the dependence from Russian and Iranian ones.

Actually, Azerbaijan is pondering delivering up to 1 million cubic meters of gas per year to Iran, if proper infrastructures are available. Part of it would supply the Azeri exclave of Nakhchivan, to meet a demand of approximately 350-500 million cubic meters; the rest would be sold to Iran to supply its Northern regions. Azerbaijan is interested in the exchange gas-for-electricity with Teheran.

Azerbaijani gas (coupling with oil) has a strategic importance for Georgia. Just to recall an episode, back to 2007 the extraction problems in Shah Deniz forced Georgia to buy extra supplies from Russia.
It’s not by chance that SOCAR was awarded in the 2010 Foreign Company nominations in Georgia, where it operates through the subsidiary company SOCAR Energy Georgia and owns the Black Sea Tanker Terminal at the port of Kulevi. The terminal was started in 2000, but started to operate in 2008, after years of financial troubles and among environmental concerns.

And talking about gas related concerns, in late summer it was announced by Andrej Kruglov, deputy chairman of Gazprom, that the tariff of gas in Armenia should rise to 330$-350$ per thousand cubic meters in 2011, doubling its price compared to the previous year.

From the Armenian-Russian gas network springs the new Mayor of the Capital. Karen Karapetyan, who headed all along the decade the Armenian-Russian joint venture ArmRosGazprom, has been the chosen person of the ruling party to replace after a scandal the city’s Mayor Gagik Beglaryan.

The gas business built its own ramifications in the years 2000-2010, not just in the shape of pipelines.

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