Azerbaijan’s State Oil to Invest $50 Million on Georgian Expansion

TBILISI (Bloomberg) –Azerbaijan’s state oil company, Socar, plans to invest $50 million this year to expand its presence in neighboring Georgia, a key transit country for Azeri exports to Europe.

“Georgia’s a perfect country for us to invest in, and we’ll spend a minimum of $50 million this year,” Mahir Mamedov, general director of Socar’s Georgian unit, said in an interview in the capital Tbilisi today. “This will include development of infrastructure, expansion and other projects.”

Socar agreed in 2008 on an increase in gas supplies over five years to meet 100 percent of Georgia’s needs. Under the agreement, Georgia pays $167 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas.

Azerbaijan has been supplying gas to Georgia since 2006, after pipeline explosions in southern Russia cut off deliveries to Georgia and Armenia.

Azeri Economic Development Minister Shahin Mustafayev said trade between the two former Soviet republics increased an annual 7 percent in the first quarter.


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