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Gas Diversification Policy of Georgia: Role of External Actors — Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran


Cover page comment samThe ultimate purpose of this research paper is to examine Georgia’s gas diversification policy options from the standpoint of economic attractiveness, political likelihood, transportation (infrastructure) connectivity and energy security. The paper encompasses five chapters on Georgia’s energy sector including discussion of energy balance, energy demand, gas suppliers, sources, etc.; the role of Azerbaijan in Georgia’s energy market and existing pipelines and contracts; Russia’s interest in Georgia’s gas sector, including recent talks and renewal of the transit agreement, as well as public reactions thereto; and the possibility of Iranian gas exports to Georgia, including the role that Armenia is enthusiastic to play in this regard. You can freely access the material in pdf via Gas Diversification Policy of Georgia: Role of External Actors — Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran 

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The Potential Impact of New US Sanctions Law on Pipeline Projects Connecting Europe and Eurasia


While expressing some “concerns,” United States President Donald Trump signed the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” on August 2 (Whitehouse.gov, August 2)—legislation that was overwhelmingly approved by the US House of Representatives late last month. Continue reading

The Southern Gas Corridor: Heading into the Home Stretch?


Trans-Adriatic-Pipeline-Selected-for-Shah-Deniz-Gas-TransportSecurity of gas supply is a priority for the European Union (EU) because it is critical to ensure that (1) supplies are not disrupted; (2) market can be competitive and (3) the EU cannot be blackmailed in foreign and security policy questions. Continue reading

Russian Gas in the Southern Gas Corridor Could Undermine the EU’s Diversification Plans


TASS_1039167_468Gazprom has officially declared its willingness to use the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as a route to deliver gas to Europe. TAP is an integral part of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) which is one of the priority energy projects for the EU to ensure the continent’s security of supply from a non-Russian source. Continue reading

Southern Gas Corridor Seeks Financial Backing Amidst Volatile Oil Prices


During the third ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) Advisory Council, held in Baku, on February 23, the European Commission’s vice president for the Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, encouraged international financial institutions to bankroll the SGC project (Trend, February 23). Continue reading

Injecting Russian Gas Into TAP: Downgrading Importance of Southern Gas Corridor


1l-Tap route.jpgFor the first time ever, Gazprom officially expressed interest in using the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to deliver Russian gas to Europe (Trend, January 24). During the European Gas Conference in Vienna, on January 24, Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said that Russia’s upstream capacity is sufficient Continue reading

TAP’s Fate after the Italian Referendum


Italian PM Renzi leads a news conference to mark 1000 days in the government, in RomeOn December 4, a referendum in Italy rejected the sweeping constitutional reforms proposed by the government, ultimately resulting in the resignation of Matteo Renzi from the prime minister’s post. One of the main proposed constitutional changes was the division of competences between the state and the regions on defining which governing body will retain the legislative power on “land-use planning” and “transport and distribution of energy.” Continue reading

SOCAR’s Complicated DESFA Deal Faces New Setbacks


0f975eb049Rovnag Abdullayev, the head of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR), told reporters on September 5 that his company is waiting for an explanation from the Greek government for its violation of the originally agreed-upon privatization terms for Greece’s Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) (Azernews.az, September 6). Continue reading

Russia Pushes ‘Gas Swap’ Plans With Iran Amidst Azerbaijan-Iran Gas Talks


7989eaedf2The Presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran—Ilham Aliyev, Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani, respectively—met in Baku, on August 8, and signed a Joint Declaration committing their countries to deepening cooperation on energy. In particular, the three sides pledged to collaborate on exploring oil and natural gas deposits, Continue reading

Azerbaijan: Europeanisation Versus Real-Politics


13653101_1106232216131915_5752547286193939555_oSince gaining its independence, Azerbaijan’s foreign policy is oscillating between security priorities and normative transformation. Following the dissolution of the USSR, newlyindependent Azerbaijan opened a new dimension of its foreign policy in the direction of the West. The successful realisation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, as well as the whole East-West energy corridor paved the way for the economic integration of Azerbaijan into Europe. Continue reading

Southern Gas Corridor Gains New Momentum


Work on the Southern Gas Corridor’s (SGC) implementation intensified to an unprecedented degree in recent months. On March 17 and May 17, the groundbreaking ceremonies of two key constituent parts of the Southern Corridor—the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)—were held, respectively, in Turkey and Greece. Continue reading

Georgia’s Endeavours for Alternative Gas Supply: Implications for the regional Energy Map


1242During 1996-2003, Russian ITERA was a main gas supplier for Georgia and owner of its natural gas distribution companies. As of 2002, Eduard Shevardnadze’s administration sought to alienate ITERA from Georgia’s gas sector. In 2002, Russian Gazprom took over the natural gas sector from ITERA and the control over the main gas pipelines. Continue reading

Iranian gas in Georgia. A feasible option?


13_GeorgiaOver the past few months, the Chief of Russia’s Gazprom, Aleksei Miller, and Georgia’s Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze have been negotiating an energy deal between the two countries. The main issues on Georgia’s agenda have been its diversification plans and increasing energy consumption. Meanwhile, Georgia has not yet ruled out importing gas from Iran. Continue reading

Four-Day Karabakh War Highlights Threats to Energy Security on NATO’s Southeastern Flank


The periodic escalation of violence in and around the separatist Azerbaijani territory of Karabakh routinely raises concerns about this conflict’s threat to regional energy security and pipeline infrastructure. However, few commentaries analyze this issue’s broader geopolitical implications in any detail. Continue reading

Falling Oil Prices and Its Implications for Azerbaijan’s Gas Policy


FILE AZERBAIJAN OIL ACCIDENT

photo credit: http://www.sbs.com.au

On February 23, Azerbaijan’s parliament adopted amendments to the state budget to adjust down expected budget revenues based on oil price estimates of as low as $25 per barrel (Azernews.az, February 23). Initially, the State Budget for 2016 projected oil at $50–55/barrel (Trend, September 14, 2015). Continue reading

Post-sanctions Iran: Implications for Southern Gas Corridor and Opportunities for Azerbaijan


On July 14, 2015 Iran and the P5+1 countries agreed on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action concerning Iran’s nuclear programme, according to which Iran is obliged not to develop and acquire nuclear weapons. In return, the international community committed to remove sanctions, as the JCPOA stipulates the sanction relief from the “import/export and transport of Iranian oil/gas products and technologies; participation in joint ventures and investment for the oil/gas sectors; purchase, acquisition, sale, transportation or marketing of oil/gas from Iran.” Continue reading

Azerbaijan’s Strategic Importance for Europe and the Parliamentary Elections


facebook.com/PresidentIlhamAliyev

facebook.com/PresidentIlhamAliyev

Regardless of suffering of occupation from very near neighbourhood in early independence, Azerbaijan, by virtue of its vast energy resources and addressing them rationally, managed to achieve quite rapid economic development. The country, regardless of geopolitical situation in the region, however, is still able to run its foreign policy in a balanced manner without sacrificing its neither national interests nor pragmatic relations with near and far neighbours. Continue reading

Financial or Production Shortages of SOCAR?: Backstage of Recent Gas Deal with Russia’s Gazprom


Credit: gazprom.com

Credit: gazprom.com

Despite other South Caucasus countries (Armenia and Georgia), Azerbaijan is not dependent on natural gas import from the third countries, as it is energy-independent due to its vast energy resources. Whereas, until 2007, Azerbaijan was importing Russian natural gas for its domestic consumption.  Continue reading

Greece appeared a “Gordian Knot” for Azerbaijan’s SOCAR


Background

On 21 June 2013, the Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR has won the tender to acquire the 66% share of the Greece’s Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA), which operates country’s gas transmission pipelines and distribution networks. The purchase accelerated the Shah Deniz Consortium’s decision on the final leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, by choosing the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline against the Nabucco-West, while SOCAR acquired 20% in TAP. Continue reading

Removal of sanctions from Iran: What does it promise for the Southern Gas Corridor?


Developments in the international relations system are unpredictable. It rapidly shifts from one phase to another, from cooperation to conflict or vice versa. The new alteration in the international order will be the Iran-West rapprochement, which has been initially observed following the interim nuclear agreement in November 2013 between Iran and P5+1 countries Continue reading

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