[Azeri pipelines and gas seem to be the lifeline keeping Georgia from going completely under. Surely Georgia has something of value to offer the world other than its strategic value as an arena for conflict?]
“Transit conflict between Tbilisi and Baku
In Georgia, are heating up around the activities of SOCAR, which may cause in Parliament “on the carpet”
In political circles of Georgia discussed the need to revise the rates for the transportation of Azerbaijani oil and gas, since at the time of the decision-making on the construction of these facilities, oil prices were half the current, and gas prices in the region below 4-5 times. This information is circulated newspaper Tbilisi Georgia Times. “Of course, this is not quite sufficient argument to reconsider the tariffs for the transit of energy resources. But in order to replenish the treasury, all means are good, – the newspaper noted. – In the end, such steps will lead to increased conflict between Georgia and Azerbaijan, and this will involve Western companies and governments.
In turn, as the “Echo” Chairman, Centre for Petroleum Research Ilham Shaban, the outcome of this situation depends on the behavior of the government itself. “The last 15 years have shown that, despite all the ongoing processes, and Georgia can be called a more democratic country in the Caucasus, where both in Parliament and elsewhere, there are different opinions.” However, the Government of this country has always conducted himself weighed and respect the international obligations they have signed the documents.
Especially since Georgia and Azerbaijan are traditionally seen as allies and partners. This is an important link in the extraction and transportation of oil, provide military transit, however, our region can be useful to the West to put pressure on Tehran and Moscow. On this basis, and there was a commonality of interests of the United States, Britain, Georgia and Azerbaijan. “But this idyll is interrupted and” woman “- oil, better pipe. Since 2005, between Tbilisi and Baku, there were serious contradictions. The reason was the completion of the construction of two major communications: the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Transcaucasus Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum which together with the reconstructed old Baku-Supsa oil formed the basic system of energy communications for the South Caucasus, linking Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Azerbaijan at the time went to significant concessions in the allocation of profits from the exploitation of data communications, “- wrote the Georgian newspaper.
As the Georgia Times, if the design phase anticipated income to be received by Georgia, seemed very significant, but now it is just a small portion of the proceeds of its public treasury. “If the 2002 state budget of Georgia was no more than 370 million dollars, today – not more than $ 100 million, making the best use of carriers’ power! But Azerbaijan over the next 20 years, according to the International Monetary Fund, will receive 175 billion dollars profits “, – said the Georgian issue. However, the publication of forgot to mention that oil and gas exports, Azerbaijan, and not Georgia, which has not invested in the project of the BTC and BTE penny gets multimillion-dollar revenues only by providing its territory for transit.
“These disparate values and have become a major irritant for Georgia, in the name of the data structures energokommunikatsy and ensure the transportation of oil to the West came into a tough confrontation with Russia, causing their own country a huge economic losses”, – said Georgia Times. However, the publication must bear in mind that these same confrontation – the result of Georgia itself, rather than pipelines. In addition, Georgia’s economy almost came to the stage of default before the August events. This is the war saved the economy of Georgia, which received nearly $ 5 billion of foreign aid to address the consequences of the conflict.
“Azerbaijan is selfish enough to the concerns of Georgia in the field of electricity and gas supplies, especially when gas supplies from Russia because of high prices had been called into question. Upon completion of construction of the pipeline, the Shah Deniz-Erzurum pipeline, Georgia found itself in a very deprived position because even such a large company would not provide her with gas, in the approximate amount that it needs in the coming years “- indicates publication. However, it should take into account that Azerbaijan Georgia sells gas at a price almost in 2 times cheaper than the market, and in very large quantities. Probably, certain circles in Georgia want to squeeze the maximum possible benefit from the projects where the main role played by Azerbaijan.
Against the background of the information disseminated Georgia Times, there are other messages injected into the Georgian society, negative attitudes towards the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan. Energoombudsmen Georgia accuses a subsidiary of SOCAR in flagrant violation of the rights of consumers. As stated by Valery Pkhakadze in Kakheti, in Lagodekhi region, the company makes new customers pay for natural gas for 12 tetri more than pay the old subscribers, reports the Business of Georgia. This rate, according to his conviction, SOCAR Georgia set arbitrarily. But Pkhakadze also states that the right of arbitrary pricing of the company was back in 2007. According to him, the Minister of Energy issued a decree on the regulation of tariffs of distribution companies. As a result, if the company will build a new network, it assigns itself the right to impose a tariff for accession by subscribers. Already aware that next week energoombudsmen plans to meet with the leadership “SOCAR” to listen to their arguments in connection with the tariff increase.
In addition, according to radio Kommersant, because of higher tariffs to the population of regions, companies may have to give explanations to Parliament. The Deputy Chairman of the Committee of Industrial Economics Temur Tsurtsumia, they need to be listened to arguments from representatives of the company.
However, in the opinion of Shaban, the situation is settled. Since, according to him, from the 12 Tetri Georgian side is unlikely to cause trouble. “For those who advocate the revision of tariffs for transportation of Azerbaijani oil and gas via Georgia, should be invited to be invited into this country,” Gazprom or some kind of Armenian companies. According to him, at one time an American company managed power distribution network in Tbilisi. “As a result of unpaid bills subscribers, the company practically ran out of Georgia.” On the other hand, if consumers stop buying Azerbaijani Georgian drinks, the budget of this country will lose significant funds. For this reason, experts say, there is hardly any reason for the cooling of relations between Azerbaijan and Georgia. “Azerbaijan has put more than a billion dollars of investment in Georgia. Among countries prevail normal relations in all spheres.” According to him, our countries are linked by very strong ties, and are unlikely to some forces can impose on us the deterioration of relations.
Further, according to J. Shaban, the issue of tariffs for transporting oil and gas is reflected in the commercial agreement signed by Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.”Here in unilaterally any party can not do anything to take.” Any change can occur only with the consent of all parties. “It is important to note that in Ukraine and Belarus transmission infrastructure of the Russian oil and gas sent to Europe, is owned by these countries. While the pipelines passing through Georgia, owned by Azerbaijan, in exactly the same terminal at Ceyhan in Turkey belongs to is not this country, and Azerbaijan. After the period of commercial agreements, these facilities would be owned by the Government of Azerbaijan. Since Georgia is not invested in infrastructure for a penny, but at the same time receives multimillion-dollar revenues plus 5% of the volume of transportation, replenishes the state budget ” .
Unfortunately, yesterday the “echo” unable to learn the opinion of SOCAR on the subject.
However, added chairman of the Center research for sustainable development Nariman Agayev, periodically in the Parliament of Georgia offers some sound revision of tariffs for transportation of fuel from Azerbaijan in the framework of international agreements. “Rising on the agenda of such a question should be based on the relevant articles of international agreements”. All parties, he said, must comply with issues relating to the protection of foreign investments.
Dzh.HALILOV, N. Aliyev
№ 121 (2323) Sat 10 July 2010