http://gdb.rferl.org/f1ffcf3d-bf86-4d98-ab64-310da4d5a580_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/f1ffcf3d-bf86-4d98-ab64-310da4d5a580_mw800_mh600.jpg
Pipes at the South Pars gas field in Iran (file photo) (epa)
25 January 2006 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today indicated he is growing impatient over delays in restoring a damaged Russian pipeline that supplies much of Georgia's gas needs.
Addressing reporters while visiting a Tbilisi canteen, Saakashvili called on Russia to let Georgian specialists take part in the repair works.
The works is being conducted by KavkazTransgaz, a subsidiary of Russia's natural gas monopoly Gazprom.
KavkazTransgaz Deputy Director-General Igor Tkachenko today said flaws in the pipeline were delaying progress.
Twin blasts heavily damaged the Mozdok-Tbilisi pipeline on 22 January, cutting off gas supplies to Georgia and Armenia.
Georgia accuses Russia of sabotaging the pipeline. Moscow denies the charge and says it is investigating the incident.
Azerbaijan has sent emergency gas supplies to Georgia in a bid to compensate for the drop in Russian deliveries. Iran has also offered to help.
Saakashvili has said he wants Georgia to be meet all its energy needs itself by 2009.
Georgia is currently looking at Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Iran as potential alternative gas suppliers.
(Imedi TV, NTV, Civil Georgia)
Click on the map for an enlarged image.
- Ukraine consumes 70 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year. It produces 20 bcm of its own gas, has a signed contract to import 40 bcm from Turkmenistan, and in 2005 was getting 29 bcm from Russia as payment for transit of Russian gas.
- Ukraine sells some 7 bcm of gas a year to the West and places some in underground storage facilities. These facilities can hold 34.5 bcm.
Ukraine is the sixth-largest consumer of gas
in the world and uses more gas than Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia combined.
- Russia has proven gas reserves of 47 trillion cubic meters (tcm) -- the largest in the world ahead of Iran and Qatar.
Russia sells approximately 160 bcm to Europe each year.
By 2015, Europe is expected to import 300 bcm, or 40 percent of its projected needs from Russia.
Russia's Gazprom is the world's largest gas company.
It is the only company allowed by Russian law to export gas outside the borders of the CIS. It also owns the gas-transportation system and most of the gas fields in Russia.
The Russian state is Gazprom's majority shareholder
, with a 51 percent share. The company's ownership rights changed as of the beginning of 2006, with Gazprom stock being sold on the open market. The Russian state, however, will continue to hold the majority stake.