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Georgia ups Gas Import from Azerbaijan

Georgia’s natural gas imports from Azerbaijan increased by 14.1 percent in January-August 2015, the Georgian National Statistics Service reported.

Georgia imported some 967,670 metric tons of natural gas of oil equivalent worth $201.76 million from Azerbaijan, the service’s foreign trade report for the aforementioned period said.

In terms of quantity, the supply increased by 109,160 metric tons of oil equivalent or by 12.7 percent.

For comparison, Georgia imported some 858,520 metric tons of gas of oil equivalent worth $176.77 million from Azerbaijan in January-August 2014.

The share of gas in Georgia’s total imports from Azerbaijan over the period was 56.4 percent.

Roughly 77.1 percent of Georgia’s oil imports originate from Azerbaijan, making it Georgia’s main oil supplier. Georgia imported about $261.75 million worth of goods from Azerbaijan in January-August 2015.

Azerbaijan exports its gas to Georgia via a pipeline linking the two countries in the Gazakh region of Azerbaijan. The pipeline’s capacity exceeds 2.5 billion cubic meters per year.

The service also reported that Georgia imported 186,100 tons of oil and petroleum products worth $96.4 million from Azerbaijan in January-August 2015, increasing in volume by about 6.6 percent, while total costs dropped by 39.2 percent [due to the decrease in oil prices] from the same period of 2014.

The report said that oil and petroleum products from Azerbaijan accounted for 21.75 percent of the total volume of imports to Georgia in the reported period.

In total, Georgia has imported $443.13 million worth oil and petroleum products since early 2015, according to the report. For comparison, the country imported 174,610 tons of oil and petroleum products worth $158.55 million in January-August 2014.

Azerbaijan and Georgia established diplomatic relations in 1992, a year after gaining independence from the Soviet Union. In October 1997, Azerbaijan and Georgia became two of the four founding members of GUAM, an organization that also includes Ukraine and Moldova.

Along with broad cooperation in regional development, transport, and other important economic projects, Azerbaijan and Georgia have long-standing and successful cooperation in the energy sector. Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR is deeply involved in the energy market of the neighboring South Caucasus republic.

Azerbaijan has long been one of Georgia’s largest trade partners. The trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $1.35 billion in 2014.

Azerbaijan mainly exports petroleum, petroleum oils and gases, gypsum, anhydrite, plaster and other products to Georgia, while the motor cars, live bovine animals, bars and rods of iron, and cement are the most imported goods from Georgia to Azerbaijan.