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"Gazprom" extends to the South2012-11-09 15:02
"Gazprom" is going to scrutinize the countries of the South Caucasus. For this purpose there was announced an open tender. In the documentation for the request it is stated that the South Caucasus countries, such as Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, are "unstable regions, which nevertheless can open additional opportunities for Russian companies". "Gazprom" wants to clarify the possibility of increasing the export of gas to Armenia and Georgia, as well as the import of "blue fuel" from Azerbaijan.
The region is really unstable. The reasons are as follows: the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the tension in the relations between Armenia and Turkey, the problems of the Armenian minority in Javakheti and so on. Naturally, any political conflict or confrontation inevitably affects the economics, including the production and transportation of energy resources. Therefore, most experts believe that it is unreal to produce an accurate analysis of the situation in this field for a long period. Errors can be quite large.
But apparently, "Gazprom" believes that even with these errors it is possible to prepare a forecast, which will help to consider further action in these countries. The company also offers to supplement this forecast with specific predictions. In particular, to carry out an assessment of the prospects of expanding its presence in the wholesale and retail markets in Armenia and Georgia, as well as additional opportunities of Azerbaijan to supply natural gas to foreign markets, including Russia.
Bidders are invited to present the results of research and monitoring in the form of certificates of analysis, which would contain descriptions for various characteristics. Here are some of them: a description of the political situation, the economic situation, the country's energy strategy, mode of access of foreign companies in the gas industry (exploration, production, transportation, storage and distribution), the country's gas balance for 1995-2025, the forecast of their natural gas prices till 2025, as well as the history of cooperation with Russia, "Gazprom" and other Russian companies after gaining independence.
Unsealing of bids takes place on November 15. In the meantime, "Gazprom" is cooperating with all the above mentioned countries. But it does it with varying success. For example, in the South Caucasus it has quite strong partnership with Armenia. "ArmRosgasprom", which is a subsidiary of the company, has a monopoly in the supply and distribution of Russian natural gas in Armenia. Currently, the share of "Gazprom" in the project amounts 80%, the share of Armenia - 20%. Gas is being transported to Armenia through Georgia.
In Georgia the situation is more complicated. According to the expert Soltan Agayev, it's hard to make a long-term program of cooperation with this country. This is due to the situation established after the war in August 2008, as well as Russia's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The most stable relationships were established with the Republic of Azerbaijan, he says. But not all so is smooth. The Russian side is annoyed by the independent policy of Azerbaijan in the energy sector. "Moscow must give up such principles for establishing relationships", Soltan Agayev says. "Each of the former Soviet republics has the right to pursue an independent policy in all fields. Of course, they should try not to infringe upon the interests of the neighbors. This, incidentally, also refers to Russia".